Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for individuals and businesses in Scotland

Use this page to navigate the guidance on the virus for people in Scotland.

General Guidelines

Social distancing rules and guidelines for people and businesses in Scotland are set by the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government has now announced Phase 3 of its route map through and out of the crisis.

Individuals and families

Health

Any person who has symptoms of COVID-19 - that is a cough, a temperature or loss of taste or smell - should take immediate steps to book a test.

If this applies to you, please go straight to nhsinform.scot to get a test or, if you can’t go online, call NHS 24 on 0800 028 2816. Don’t wait to see if you feel better before booking a test, and all people in your household should self-isolate.

Read the latest guidance on COVID-19 from Health Protection Scotland and the Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has published Vitamin D advice for all age groups.

Staying safe and physical distancing

Read the Scottish Government’s information on staying safe and protecting others through physical distancing for people in Scotland.

People must by law wear a face covering in shops and on public transport and public transport premises such as railway and bus stations and airports.

Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis

The Scottish Government have published a coronavirus framework for decision making. It gives an indication of the order in which Scotland will seek to change restrictions.

Guidance for employees

Read all the latest guidance for employees including details about working safely, working from home, childcare, holiday and sick leave, and getting financial help if you are not working or working less.

Travel

Find out all the latest international travel advice and sign up for travel alerts via the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) website. People are advised not to travel abroad unless it is essential. Some countries are exempt from this advice.

Parents

The Scottish Government has coronavirus advice for parents on its ParentClub website.

Community support

Businesses

Businesses in Scotland may be eligible for support from both the UK and Scottish governments.

Find coronavirus financial support for your business

Physical distancing for businesses

The Scottish Government has published guidance for businesses in Scotland on physical distancing.

UK Government support for businesses

The UK Government has set out a Winter Economy Plan of measures to protect public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

Businesses in Scotland could be eligible to benefit from the following schemes and announcements:

From November 1st 2020 the UK Government will be introducing a new Job Support Scheme.

Employees will need to work a minimum of 33% of their usual hours. For every hour not worked the employer and the government will each pay one third of the employee’s usual pay, and the government contribution will be capped at £697.92 per month.

Employees using the scheme will receive at least 77% of their pay, where the government contribution has not been capped. The employer will be reimbursed in arrears for the government contribution. The employee must not be on a redundancy notice.

The scheme will run for six months from 1 November 2020 and is open to all employers with a UK bank account and a UK PAYE scheme. All Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) will be eligible; large businesses will be required to demonstrate that their business has been adversely affected by COVID-19, and the government expects that large employers will not be making capital distributions (such as dividends), while using the scheme.

Support for the self-employed:

More than 150,000 people in Scotland have benefited from the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

From November 2020 to April 2021 the SEISS Grant Extension will provide critical support to the self-employed. The grant will be limited to self-employed individuals who are eligible for the SEISS and are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due to COVID-19. The scheme will last for 6 months, .

The extension will be in the form of two taxable grants. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. This initial grant will cover 20% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total. The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April. The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

Enhanced Time to Pay for Self-Assessment taxpayers – The government will give the self-employed and other taxpayers more time to pay taxes due in January 2021, building on the Self-Assessment deferral provided in July 2020. Taxpayers with up to £30,000 of Self-Assessment liabilities due will be able to use HMRC’s self-service Time to Pay facility to secure a plan to pay over an additional 12 months

Support for small and medium sized businesses:

Support for larger businesses:

Scottish Government support for businesses

The Scottish Government has a summary of their support available to businesses in Scotland. Scottish Government coronavirus business support and advice is also available at the Find Business Support website.

Business support helplines

HMRC tax helpline

HMRC has set up a helpline for businesses and self-employed people who are concerned about paying their tax due to COVID-19.

Call 08000 241222 for help and advice.

Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm

Find out about call charges.

Scottish Government helpline

If you run a business in Scotland you can also get advice by calling the Scottish Government’s helpline: 0300 303 0660. It is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm. Select option 1 to speak to the COVID-19 team.

How you can help

Use the UK Government’s service to tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus.

Published 23 March 2020
Last updated 2 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added mention of the Enhanced Time to Pay facility to 'Support for the Self Employed'.

  2. Updated with information from the Winter Economy Plan

  3. Updated social distancing guidelines and links

  4. Updated links and added Aberdeen localised lockdown announcement

  5. Updated to include link to Scottish Government's Phase 3 of Route Map published on 9 July

  6. Updated to reflect the Scottish Government's Phase 2 guidance

  7. Updated with further information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

  8. Added guidance on getting tested in Scotland

  9. Full update including the Scottish Government's route map through and out of the crisis.

  10. Updated links to Scottish Government guidance

  11. Added details of the new support package for innovative firms and Bounce Back Loans.

  12. Full update on all existing guidance for individuals and businesses.

  13. Added the Scottish Government's business support helpline number.

  14. Updated UK Government business support links

  15. Updated to include the Self-employment Income Support Scheme

  16. Updated to reflect HMRC's new helpline number and opening hours.

  17. Updated with latest UK Government advice on business closures and the opening of the Scottish Government's Business Support Fund.

  18. First published.