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Latest news | Rolling updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus advice

Latest news

Rolling updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus advice

This page gives a rolling update on COVID-19 coronavirus. It will be kept up to date as much as possible.

Coronavirus in Scotland

There are now confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) across Scotland.

Health services are dealing with the outbreak, and we must play our own part to help prevent further spread by following the latest medical advice.

People have been advised to follow the public health advice for coronavirus, which is continuously updated and can be found on the NHS Inform website.

On March 17th 2020, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, provided a full update on the challenges ahead and measures being taken to address them as a result of coronavirus. You can read the full statement here on the Scottish Government website.

Additionally, the four nations’ Action Plan and tailored guidance for Scotland’s unique landscape were both published. These documents set out additional arrangements for Scotland, what we know so far, and what actions will be taken at each phase in response to the coronavirus.

Much of this planning has been based on reasonable worst case scenarios which will be refined as our understanding of the virus develops, but it is vital that we are well equipped to deal with all possibilities.

On May 21 2020, the First Minister published the Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making - Scotland's route map through and out of the crisis that gives an indication of the order in which we will carefully and gradually seek to change current restrictions.

May 29th 2020, lockdown began to ease with physical distancing and staying at home still essential to tackling the virus.

Health advice

If you’ve developed a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature/loss or taste or smell in the last 7 days, stay at home for 7 days from the start of your symptoms even if you think your symptoms are mild.

Anyone over the age of 5 who has developed symptoms of coronavirus is now eligible for a test. These can be booked online: or by calling 0300 303 2713.

Using the new "Test and Protect" system, you will be asked to share your recent close contacts, and they will be confidentially contacted and asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital.

Only phone 111 if your symptoms:

  • are severe or you have shortness of breath
  • worsen during home isolation
  • have not improved after 7 days

If you have a medical emergency, phone 999 and tell them you have COVID-19 symptoms.

If you have symptoms and live with others:

  • You should stay at home for 7 days from the start of your symptoms
  • They should stay at home for 14 days from the start of your symptoms even if they don’t have symptoms themselves

If you live with other people and have symptoms, they'll need to stay at home for 14 days from the start of your symptoms even if they don’t have symptoms themselves.

If they develop symptoms within the 14 days, they need to stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms began. They should do this even if it takes them over the 14-day isolation period.

If you have a non-COVID19 related health concern, please contact your GP or 111. In an emergency, call 999.

Free information for people who do not have symptoms but are looking for general advice is available at or call the helpline on 0800 028 2816

Lockdown easing - Phase 2: What can I do?

The Scottish Government is asking people to remain at home as much as possible and keep your distance from others in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

On May 29th, lockdown measures began to ease, starting with Phase 1.

Following on from the measures in Phase 1, on June 18th the Scottish Government announced a further easing of lockdown restrictions as Scotland moved into Phase 2. The additional measures that are in Phase 2 include:

  • Friday 19th June

    • People from one household can meet outdoors with people from up to 2 other households. This should be no more than two at a time, and no more than two in a single day. The advice remains that there should be no more than eight people in any group.
    • The guidance has been changed to permit you to go into the home of another household for the purposes of using the toilet. Doing so, you should avoid touching surfaces and immediately clean any that you do touch.

    • Anybody who lives on their own or only with children under the age of 18 can form an extended household group with one other household. Within extended household groups, people can meet indoors without physical distancing and stay overnight. No member of such a household group should form a similar group with another household. An extended household must not include anyone who is shielding. Should anybody in the extended group test positive for coronavirus, then the entire household group will need to self-isolate.
  • From Monday 22nd June
    • The construction sector can move to the next phase of its restart plan, and then move through the remaining stages subject to consultation with the Scottish Government.
    • Dentists may reopen for urgent care.
    • Professional sport may resume behind closed doors.
    • Places of worship will reopen for individual prayer.
  • From Monday 29th June
    • Some indoor workplaces that have opted to remain closed in line with guidance such as factories, labs, and warehouses, can start to reopen. Nonessential offices and call centres should remain closed.
    • Outdoor markets can reopen, outdoor playgrounds and sports centres can reopen.
    • Outside businesses such as zoos and garden attractions can reopen. People should not travel more than five miles from home to visit them.
    • Restrictions on moving house will be lifted.
    • Registration offices will be open for essential business. Marriages and civil partnerships will be permitted, but only outdoors at this stage and with limited numbers.
    • Retail premises of all sizes can reopen, but only if they have outdoor entrances and exits. For the time being, shopping centres must remain closed, except for access to essential shops such as supermarkets. Indoor shopping centres can prepare to reopen fully for phase three.
    • Optometry practices will reopen for emergency and essential services.
    • Indoor (non-office) workplaces resume once relevant guidance is implemented. This includes: factories, warehouses, labs and research facilities.
  • From Friday July 3rd
    • Travel distance restriction relaxed (except for areas of Dumfries and Galloway due to local outbreak)
    • Self-catering accommodation and second homes (without shared facilities) permitted
    • Physical distancing rules scrapped for children under 12 when meeting other children or adults outdoors.
    • Meanwhile young people aged 12 to 17 are allowed to meet people from an unlimited number of households in a day, as long as groups do not exceed eight and physical distancing is maintained.
  • From Monday July 6th
    • Outdoor hospitality (subject to physical distancing rules and public health advice)
  • Friday 10th July
    • Face coverings become mandatory in shops

There will also be a more significant reopening of health services, more GP services will be available and GP practices will make visits to shielded patients. Some care services that were postponed will restart. Some public services will reopen gradually, and public transport will operate increased services

Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

From June 22nd, face coverings are mandatory on all forms of public transport, taxis and private hire cars. Even when you go out normally, the Scottish Government has advised you wear a face covering in enclosed areas.

Governments are still advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

This group includes those who are:

  • aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds)
  • those who are pregnant


Some groups of people are considered to be at extremely high risk of severe illness with COVID-19. These people should strictly follow shielding measures, which remains separate to the general advice.

People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex health problems such as:

  • have had solid organ transplants
  • have lung cancer and are receiving active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • have cancers of the blood or bone marrow, such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • have severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma and severe COPD
  • have rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections such as SCID and homozygous sickle cell
  • have severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)
  • are receiving immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • are receiving other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • are receiving immunosuppression therapies that significantly increase risk of infection
  • are pregnant with significant heart disease (congenital or acquired)

Please check the guidance on shielding for more information.

Should you require additional support, including with food deliveries, you can check the Scottish Government's shielding and support contacts guidance, or contact your local council.

On June 8th the Scottish Government published their Shielding: A Way Forward for Scotland guidance, asking people who are shielding to continue to do so until July 31st, although you can go outdoors for exercise from June 18th - as long as social distancing is maintained. Further updates on shielding remains central to Scottish Government thinking.

As of June 18th, people who are shielding can go outside for exercise, meet one other household outdoors and take part in non-contact outdoor activities - such as gold, angling, canoeing, etc. Please continue to stay 2 metres apart from others, and wash your hands regularly and as soon as you get home.

Key documents and contacts

Further guidance for health professionals can be found on the UK Government's coronavirus advice page.

Full information on the expansion of testing in Scotland is available on the Scottish Government website.

The Foreign Office has issue an Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice advising British nationals against all but essential travel as a result of COVID-19. All British nationals abroad have been advised to return home if they can.

The Scottish Government has also set up a helpline providing businesses across Scotland with advice and guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19). Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team. It is available on 0300 303 0660.

If you are concerned that your employer is breaking health and safety standards, report it here.

Further updates will be provided as the situation develops.

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