We've spent a few months only dreaming of exploring Scotland, but it's now time to turn these dreams into plans, and take a break in Scotland. Use our "We're Open" search feature below to find businesses which have reopened, and look out for the Good to Go logo, to see businesses which have carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment. Please remember to plan and book ahead - many businesses including attractions can't accept walk-ins anymore due to capacity restrictions and other safety measures.
We've got all the information you need on what you need to know - physical distancing guidelines and face coverings, what's open, and other questions you might have on safety measures to keep you safe from Covid-19 on your Scottish trip.
Last updated: 22 September 2020
What everyone needs to know
Amended national restrictions
- In private indoor spaces, including your private garden, you can only stay in one household, starting on Wednesday the 23rd of September. There are some exceptions for those who live alone, live alone with children, or those who form extended households, caretakers and certain tradespeople. In public indoor spaces (i.e. restaurant or pub), you are allowed to meet up with one other household in a group of no more than six people. Children under 12 don't count towards the total of people within this group of six.
- Outdoors, you are allowed to meet up with one other households. Young people between 12 and 18 are allowed to meet outdoors in groups of no more than six. These aforementioned restrictions do not apply for people under 12.
- You can still book your household onto organised activities - outdoor activities, tours, coaches - alongside other unconnected households, as these operators are still allowed to take larger numbers where capacity allows. You should keep to your own household within the activity, follow 2 m physical distancing (1 m for organised day boat trips) and wear your mask on coaches, tours and boat trips.
- Face coverings in hospitality are required by staff and customers. Customers should wear a face covering or mask while entering, exiting and moving around a premise, but can be removed once seated at a table.
Contact tracing app
- All residents and visitors should download the Protect Scotland app for free from the Apple and Google stores. The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who has tested positive for coronavirus. It supports contact tracing and works through Bluetooth anonymously, protecting your privacy.
Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire, East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire - indoor household meetings
- Restrictions apply only to visiting other households - you should not have another household in your home, or visit another household if you or they live in these areas.
Check before you go
- Always check directly with a business before visiting - most businesses are now able to open, but some businesses may need a little longer to prepare.
- They will also be able to tell you if you need to book in advance, and what safety measures they have will be operating when you visit.
- Look out for the Good to Go scheme logo, which shows which businesses have carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment.
You can search our website for businesses that are open now, and for those who are part of the Good to Go scheme.
- Accommodation - hotels, self-catering, camping and more/
- Outdoor Activities - watersports, cycling, walking, fishing, golf.
- Attractions - castles, museums, galleries, parks, gardens, monuments.
- Food & Drink - pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars. Hospitality establishments are required to close at 10 p.m., starting on Friday.
- Keep a distance of 2 metres from anyone outside of your household (or your travel group) at all times.
- The only exception is where a business has been allowed to reopen with a 1 metre distance between groups of people, but there should be additional safety measures in place.
- If you go somewhere outdoors and it is too crowded to remain at a distance of 2 metres, please consider leaving and finding somewhere else to go.
- Children aged 11 and younger do not need to physically distance indoors and outdoors.
Face coverings are mandatory in the following places:
- on public transport
- in retail shops
- aquariums and indoor zoos
- any indoor tourist, heritage or cultural site
It's also recommended you wear your face covering anywhere indoors that is difficult to maintain the recommended physical distance.
There are exceptions for some health conditions and for children under 5.
Exploring the outdoors
- The Scottish Outdoor Access Code applies all year-round and offers some great tips and advice so that you can enjoy these spaces safely, and give staff the time and space they need to look after them properly.
- Find out more advice on exploring the countryside of Scotland just now.
Plan a holiday with all the information
- We've got a handy download to guide you on how to enjoy Scotland responsibly over the new few months - check out our helpful reminders to protect yourself and others, and plan ahead.
- As we start to venture out again, here are five easy ways you can support Scotland's fantastic tourism industry with our take five for tourism PDF.
- Watch our Guide to Safe Travels in Scotland video to see how businesses and providers have been working hard to keep you safe.
- If you develop Covid-19 symptoms while on holiday in Scotland, please self-isolate in your accommodation and follow the advice from the Scottish Government.
What businesses are open now?
Remember to check with individual businesses before visiting, as some may need longer than the dates below to reopen safely.
- Attractions - museums, galleries, visitor centres, etc - now open
- Campsites with no access to shared facilities - open
- Campsites (all) - now open
- Contact sports - closed
- Events - closed, but many running virtual events
- Gardens - open
- Gyms - closed (reopening 31 August)
- Hotels - now open
- Motorhome access - open
- Outdoor activities - open
- Outdoor eating & drinking spaces - open
- Outdoor sports courts - open
- Outdoor markets - open
- Public toilets - open
- Public transport - open but limited capacity
- Pubs & bars (indoors) - open every day until 10 p.m. from Friday
- Restaurants & cafés (indoors) - open every day until 10 p.m. from Friday
- Retail in shopping centres - open
- Retail shops (accessible from streets) - open
- Self-catering without shared facilities - open
- Self-catering - now open
- Weddings (outdoors) - open to a limited number of attendees
- Wild camping - now open
- Zoos - open
Other questions you might have
Visiting Scotland from the UK
Now the travel restriction has been lifted and accommodation is reopening, you can visit from the UK.
For those living in areas of England currently under tighter restrictions we would ask people to only travel to Scotland for essential trips to help keep the virus under control. Please stay up to date with the latest advice from the UK and Scottish Governments.
Visiting Scotland from overseas
- There are a number of countries now who do not need to quarantine on arrival into Scotland. You can check the full list of countries who can travel to Scotland without quarantine.
- There are still countries including France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, the US and Canada where if you travel to Scotland, you will need to self-quarantine for 14 days when you arrive.
- Everyone needs to provide their journey and contact details when you travel to Scotland.
This applies even if you land at an English airport - if your final stop is Scotland, then you need to follow the above rules.
Find out more on health checks when entering Scotland.
Yes, however many businesses such as shops and restaurants currently prefer you to use contact free payments for hygiene reasons and some may be following a "contactless payment only" policy. Please check that your debit/credit card is accepted in the UK before your trip begins.
Travelling from the airport
Our airports have car rental facilities close to their arrival halls. Make sure to check before you travel if car rentals are open and book your car in advance.
Public transport capacity will be constrained due to physical distancing requirements. The use of taxis or private pick-ups are recommended.
Renting a car
Car rental companies are following government advice and have increased their health and safety measures. Check before you travel with individual companies for information on any additional measures they are taking.