Bridge at the Ness Islands, Inverness

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) FAQs

Please note that this information (which is for Scotland) will be different to the situation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Update 14 April 2021

From 26 April, tourist accommodation can re-open including B&Bs and hotels. Self-catering accommodation capacity will be restricted in line with rules on indoor gathering. Indoor attractions such as museums and galleries can also re-open from this date. Travel will be permitted between England, Wales and Scotland from this date.

Changes to Lockdown and Levels (expected dates):

  • 2 April - lifting of the 'Stay at Home' requirement and replacing it with 'Stay Local'.
  • 16 April - lifting of the 'Stay Local' requirement. Travel will be permitted anywhere within Scotland.
  • 26 April - All of Scotland returns to Level 3. Border re-opens with England.
  • 17 May - hoping that all level 3 areas (or as many as possible) will move to level 2.
  • Early June - hoping that all of Scotland will move to level 1
  • End of June - hoping that all of Scotland will move to at least level 0.

Click here for the details of the Scottish Government timetable for easing restrictions (April - June 2021).

Scotland operates a system of levels (or tiers) - for more information on levels in Scotland.

FAQs

Face coverings in Scotland
It is mandatory to wear a face covering in shops, banks and other enclosed areas such as museums, indoor tourist attractions, cinemas and places of worship.
It is also mandatory to wear a face covering inside bars/restaurants when you are not seated (e.g. when entering/leaving the premises or going to the toilet).
Exemptions apply for children under 5 and for those for whom a covering is inappropriate due to health reasons.
You are also required to wear a face covering on public transport (see below).

Public transport
Please note that it is mandatory to wear a face covering on all public transport (including public areas of bus/train stations and airports) and in taxis. Exemptions apply for children under 5 and for those for whom a covering is inappropriate due to health reasons (see full guidance).
Advance booking of trains and ferries is essential.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants
Certain restrictions will apply in hospitality venues when they are allowed to re-open. Click here for the proposed details (April - June 2021).

Events and attractions
Feel free to check out the 2021 dates on our Events listing page. Many major events have been cancelled or postponed for 2021.
If you are hoping to visit attractions like castles and museums, please check when they will be open and if you need to pre-book time slots so that social distancing can be well managed (see our guide to what's open in and around Inverness). You will be asked to wear a face covering when visiting indoor attractions.

Arriving into the UK
The ban on non-essential travel between England, Wales and Scotland will be lifted on 26th April, but the international travel restrictions are unlikely to be lifted before at least 17th May 2021.
The current rules on international arrivals from outside the UK mean that people must take a Covid test up to 72 hours before leaving the country they are in. From 15 February 2021, a system of managed quarantine and further testing will operate in the UK until further notice. The quarantine rules in Scotland are different to those for people arriving into England. Please note that passengers entering England from 'red-list' countries seeking to travel onto Scotland would first need to isolate in a hotel in England.
See the latest Scottish Government Covid travel information.
For additional info, see the VisitScotland Travel to Scotland FAQ.

VisitScotland has a handy list which summaries the current situation and regulations in Scotland.

Testing
Scotland is now operating a 'Test and Protect' strategy.
The Protect Scotland app is available to download for free via Apple and Google stores.
For medical advice if you are experiencing any symptoms of Coronavirus, please consult the NHS website.