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Covid levels system in Scotland: Here’s what you can do in each level

You can meet in groups of six from six households in beer gardens The Seafield Arms in Whitehills

Scotland is moving out of lockdown and into Level 3 of the Covid restrictions system in almost two weeks’ time.

In preparation, the Scottish Government has published an updated list of what people and businesses will be able to do as the country drops down levels, hopefully, every three weeks.

It includes updated guidance for hospitality venues, sporting stadiums, and going back to work from offices.

Nicola Sturgeon announced the new levels system yesterday

The predicted dates for Scotland moving into each level are:

  • Level 3 – April 26
  • Level 2 – May 17
  • Level 1 – June 7
  • Level 0 – June 28

After these dates, it is hoped Scotland can return to some sort of normality.

Here is what you need to know about upcoming changes.

Pubs, restaurants, and cafes

Elgin bowling alley Pinz beer garden

From April 26, hospitality premises will be able to offer alcoholic drinks outdoors, with no curfew.

Indoors, no alcohol is allowed and the premises must close at 8pm.

You can meet up in groups of six outdoors with no limit on households at beer gardens, while inside it must be six from two households.

In Level 2, alcohol is permitted indoors but only in two-hour slots and the business must close at 10.30pm.

The Grill in Aberdeen

You can meet in groups of six from three households indoors, and eight from eight outdoors.

In Level 1, indoor premises must shut at 11pm, and you can meet in groups of eight from three households.

Outdoors, it is groups of 12 from unlimited households.

Finally, at the lowest level, there is no curfew for pubs but there is a limit on how many people you can meet.

Indoors it is 10 from four households, while outdoors it is 15 from 15.

Indoor and outdoor socialising

Hazlehead Park Aberdeen<br />Friends meet up for the first time but maintain social distancing as lockdown is eased<br />Picture by Paul Glendell

You cannot socialise in someone else’s home at all until Level 2.

This is when a maximum of four people from two households can meet up.

In Level 1, that increases to eight from three households, and then to 10 from four in Level 0.

Outdoor socialising is the same as listed above for hospitality businesses.

Sport and exercise

Pictured is Duncan Scott at Aberdeen Sports Village

From April 26, gyms and indoor sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise, although under 12s can take part in group activities.

All organised group sports can take place outdoors, except adult contact sport.

In Levels 2 and 1, the only thing not allowed is indoor adult contact sports.

There are no exercise restrictions in Level 0.

Leisure and entertainment venues

Vue Cinema can reopen in Level 2

Cinemas, theatres, concert halls, music venues, comedy clubs, amusement arcades, and bingo halls can all reopen in Level 2.

Outdoor amateur professional activities are also allowed.

In Level 1, all venues can reopen except night clubs and adult entertainment venues.

Indoor amateur dramatic activities are also allowed.

There are no changes in Level 0.

Stadium and events

Pittodrie Stadium, home of Aberdeen FC.

Stadiums and venues will remain closed until Level 2, except for drive-in events that can happen in Level 3.

In Level 2, there will be limited openings, with a max capacity of 100 indoors, 500 outdoors seating, and 250 outdoors freestanding.

This will increase to 200, 1,000, and 500 respective in Level 1 before increasing further to 400, 2,000, and 1,000 in Level o.

Life events

From April 26, 50 people are able to attend weddings and funerals, with a maximum of 50 allowed at wakes and receptions, with alcohol allowed.

This number remains the same in Level 2.

In Level 1, the capacity increases to 100, before growing further to 200 in Level 0.


You can travel outside your local authority area from Friday

From Friday, you can travel anywhere across Scotland to visit friends and family and for recreation purposes.

Then, on April 26, you will be able to travel cross-border into England and Wales.

If regions move into different levels, restrictions will be in place meaning you cannot go into local authorities at a lower level if you are in Level 3 or above.

You must continue to wear face coverings on public transport and avoid car sharing if possible.

Tourist accommodation also opens on April 26, and you can book overnight stays then.

Children and students

Schools will remain open

Childcare does not change much throughout the levels, with nurseries and childminders open.

Family and friends’ childcare that is non-essential can begin again on April 26.

Children’s activities will be permitted subject to guidance, and schools will remain open.

Blended learning will return for students at Level 2.


All shops will be allowed to open from April 26.

Takeaways will also be letting customers enter their premises to collect food from the same date.

Mobile hairdressers and other close contact services can also open.

All visitor attractions will be available, but you must book in advance.

Home repairs

From April 26, you will be allowed to have tradesmen in your home for improvements or repairs.

You are also freer to move home, with the current guidance being that you should postpone this if possible until we move out of lockdown.

Working from home

Mom working remotely on laptop while taking care of her baby.

Working from home if you can remains the default position until we move into Level 0.

Only then can a phased and limited return to the office be facilitated.

Hospital and care home visits

Brian Forgie has seen his mum Moira and dad Ronnie for the first time in a year at Cowdray Club care home as visiting restrictions have now been lifted.<br />Picture by Kenny Elrick 03/03/2021

From April 26, one person can visit someone in hospital, with this being increased to two in Level 1 and then to an unlimited amount in Level 0.

Care homes will adopt a similar rule to now, with a minimum of two visits per week, with one person at a time.

This will change to unlimited visits in Level 0.

Public buildings

Members of the congregation during the Easter Sunday service at the Church of Scotland Fairmilehead Parish Church, Edinburgh.

Places of worship like churches remain open throughout all levels, with limited capacity.

All public buildings will reopen for non-essential needs from April 26, including libraries and community centres.

Non-essential face-to-face services will start again at Level 2.

Support services have been ongoing throughout lockdown and will continue in-line with the guidance.

Driving lessons will also be permitted again from April 26.