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.

Localised Lockdown

Following an increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Aberdeen, local restrictions on travel, indoor gatherings between households, and the closure of indoor and outdoor hospitality will be introduced in the Aberdeen City local authority area taking effect from 5pm on Wednesday 5 August.

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 information on COVID-19 from Health Protection Scotland.

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. This applies to open-air railway platforms, but not to bus stops.

Also read advice for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus in Scotland.

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 carefully and gradually seek to change current 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 package 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:

Through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme businesses receive government grants worth up to 80% of wages to keep workers in jobs, up to £2,500 per worker each month. 31 July is the last day businesses can submit claims for periods ending on or before 30 June.

From 1 July 2020, businesses have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part time.

From August 2020, the level of UK Government grant provided through the job retention scheme is slowly tapering to reflect that people will be returning to work. Businesses are asked to contribute a modest share, but individuals will continue to receive that 80% of salary covering the time they are unable to work.

Support for the self-employed:

Millions of people across the UK could benefit from the new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

Those eligible are able to claim a second and final grant in August 2020. The grant will be worth 70 percent of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

The Self- Assessment payment on account, that is ordinarily due to be paid to HMRC by 31 July 2020 may now be deferred until January 2021.

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 5 August 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated links and added Aberdeen localised lockdown announcement

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

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

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

  5. Added guidance on getting tested in Scotland

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

  7. Updated links to Scottish Government guidance

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

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

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

  11. Updated UK Government business support links

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

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

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

  15. First published.