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Coronavirus - what it means for you

This advice applies to Scotland

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

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.

All of Scotland is in protection level 0, and there are rules about what you can and cannot do.  

For example, there are rules about:

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.

Covid health advice

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 get Covid advice in British Sign Language or Covid advice in Easy Read format.

You can also get advice for:

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.

If you're on the shielding list

You can follow the same rules as others in your local council area. 

There’s advice about shielding on

Help if you can't leave your home

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
  • disabled
  • 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

If you have less money because of coronavirus, help is available. You might be able to:

If you’re already getting benefits, check if the government has made changes to your benefits.

Going to work

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:

If you’ve been self-isolating for more than 7 days, your employer might ask for proof you need to stay off work. You should get an isolation note on the NHS website. Your employer shouldn’t ask to see a note until you’ve been self-isolating for at least 7 days.

If you're self-employed and need financial support

You can find out more about:

You can also call the Scottish government helpline on 0300 303 0660, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm.


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. 

You can check ParentClub for guidance about childcare during coronavirus

Or check our advice about what to do if you need to be off work to care for someone.

If you’re planning to travel

The rules about travel depend on where you’re travelling from 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.

Find out how to book a test on the Scottish government website.

Travelling within the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Ireland

You can travel between Scotland and England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. But you should check what the local rules are before you travel.

Find out more about the rules and reasons you can travel on the Scottish government website.

Travelling abroad

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.

Travel insurance

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 find out more about getting a refund because of coronavirus.

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 is ending and you can't leave the UK

If your visa expires before 30 September 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:

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