Coronavirus - what it means for you
We'll update our advice to help you understand any changes when they apply to you.
On this page:
- Covid rules you need to follow
- Covid health advice
- If you're on the shielding list
- Help if you can't leave your home
- If you have less money because of coronavirus
- Going to work
- Childcare and schools
- If you're planning to travel
- If your visa is ending and you can't leave the UK
The Scottish government has introduced rules to deal with coronavirus.
There are 5 protection levels the government can apply in Scotland. The levels are 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Check the level and rules for your local area using the Scottish government protection level checker.
There are rules about:
- wearing a face mask - check the Scottish government guidance on face coverings
- how many people can meet up - find out more about the rules for meeting people and extended households.
If your partner or family member makes you feel anxious or threatened
You can still get help during this time. You can call Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 027 1234 or check theSafer Scot website.
Read our advice about domestic abuse and where to get help.
Coronavirus causes the illness called Covid-19. There are things you can do to avoid getting coronavirus and stop it spreading. Read the latest advice about symptoms, social distancing and testing on NHS inform.
You can also get advice for:
- unpaid carers - check the Scottish government advice for unpaid carers
- older people - check Age Scotland's advice or phone their helpline on 0800 12 44 222, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
- mental health - get mental health advice on NHS inform or on the Clear your head website
- Covid-19 general information- phone the free NHS inform helpline on 0800 028 2816, 8am to 10pm.
Overseas visitors to Scotland don't have to pay to be diagnosed or treated for coronavirus on the NHS, whatever their residence status. Read about healthcare for overseas visitors on NHS inform.
You can follow the same rules as others in your local council area.
There’s advice about shielding on mygov.scot.
If you can't leave your home, for example because you're self-isolating, you can call the Scottish government's national assistance helpline on 0800 111 4000, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
The helpline will connect you with your local council for support getting food and medicine, social work services, emotional support and support from local volunteer groups.
The helpline is for anyone who doesn't have help from family, friends or neighbours and who can't access help online.
Find out more about the help you can get on the Ready Scotland website.
Self-isolating if you're vulnerable
You might be able to get more help if you’ve been asked to self-isolate by the Test and Protect service and you’re at higher risk, like if you’re:
- on the shielding list
- over 70 years old
- on a low income.
Contact tracers will ask if you want your local council to phone you to see if you need help from your local self-isolation assistance service. This might be getting food or medicine, or help applying for a self-isolation grant. Find out more about getting a self-isolation grant.
If you have less money because of coronavirus, help is available. You might be able to:
- reduce your bills - check what to do if you can't pay your bills or are worried about being evicted.
- get emergency help with food or energy – you could apply for a crisis grant or get advice about foodbanks and other emergency help.
- increase your income - check what benefits you can get.
If you’re already getting benefits, check if the government has made changes to your benefits.
The Scottish government has said you should only go to work if it's not possible for you to work from home.
Check our advice if you're:
- furloughed - find out how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme works
- off work because you’re self-isolating – find out what benefits you can get if you're self-isolating
- looking after children or someone else - check your options if you need to change how you work to care for someone
- worried about working - check what to do if you’re worried about working.
If you're self-employed and need financial support
You can find out more about:
- the UK government's Self-Employment Income Support Scheme - check if you're eligible for self-employed support
- UK government financial support for businesses on GOV.UK
Scottish government financial support and updates on the Find Business Support website.
You can also call the Scottish government helpline on 0300 303 0660, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm.
The Scottish government has announced changes that affect childcare and schools.
Nurseries and other formal childcare settings are open to all children.
A friend or family member from another household can look after your child in their home or yours.
Unless you're exempt, face coverings should be worn:
- in primary schools – by adults moving around the school, for example in corridors and common areas
- in secondary schools - at all times by adults and pupils
- on school transport - by all children aged 5 or over travelling to and from primary or secondary school
- by parents, carers and visitors – when on school grounds, indoors and outdoors. This includes when you’re dropping off or picking up your child.
Social distancing in schools
In schools, adults who aren't in the same household should stay 2 metres apart. Children and adults should also stay 2 metres apart whenever possible.
Children in primary schools don't need to stay 2 metres apart. Secondary school pupils might be encouraged to physically distance when possible.
If you or your child has symptoms of Covid-19
If you or your child has symptoms of coronavirus, you should:
- book a test straight away
- not send your child to school or nursery.
If the test result is negative, your household can stop self-isolating. Anyone with a positive test result should check the self-isolation guidance on NHS inform.
If someone at school tests positive for Covid-19
If your child is a close contact of someone at school who has tested positive for coronavirus, they might have to self-isolate for 10 days. A local Test and Protect team will tell you if your child needs to self-isolate.
Check your local council website for information on what will happen if there’s a confirmed case of COVID-19 in school. Find your local council on mygov.scot.
If you need to take time off to look after your children, speak to your employer. Read more about taking time off to look after children.
The rules about travel depend on the protection level you’re in and where you're going.
Travelling within Scotland
You can travel to other parts of Scotland.
Before you travel to a Scottish island, you should:
- take a Covid-19 test 3 days before travelling
- take another test on the day you plan to travel.
Travelling within the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Ireland
You can travel between Scotland, most areas in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. But you should check what the local rules are before you travel.
You cannot travel to some areas without a reasonable excuse, like work that you cannot do from home. This includes:
- Blackburn with Darwen
- Manchester - from 21 June
- Salford - from 21 June.
Find out more about the rules and reasons you can travel on the Scottish government website.
The rules on travelling abroad depend on which country you’re going to. There’s a traffic light system - each country is either red, amber or green.
It’s not against the law to go abroad for a non-essential reason, like a holiday. But the Scottish government advises you not to travel to countries on the red or amber list unless you have to. Check the Scottish government's guidance on international travel.
If you travel abroad, you should check:
- if the country is allowing people from the UK to enter
- the latest travel advice on GOV.UK
- what you'll need to do when you come back to the UK - check the rules on entering the UK from abroad
- if your travel insurance covers medical and travel problems caused by coronavirus.
If you travel to a country that the UK government considers high risk, your insurance policy might not be valid.
Travelling without valid travel insurance is a big risk. For example, you might have to pay all of your medical bills if you get ill or have an accident. If you need to buy travel insurance or make a claim, check our advice about travel insurance.
If you've booked a holiday
Check what your travel agent, airline or accommodation provider says about your booking.
If your booking is cancelled because of coronavirus, contact the company you booked with. You have the right to a refund, or you can choose to rebook the holiday for another time.
You can also find out what to do if your package holiday is cancelled.
If you need more help, you can get advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
If your visa expires on or before 30 June 2021, you need to follow the coronavirus visa guidance on GOV.UK. You'll need to give evidence of why you can't leave in time.
For example, you might not be able to leave the UK because:
- you have a medical condition which makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus – check if you’re extremely vulnerable on NHS inform
- the country you need to go to won't let you in because of coronavirus
- you can't arrange travel in time.