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Coronavirus Update: 18 May

Yesterday was an eventful one for many of us, with most of Scotland moving into Level 2 of coronavirus restrictions. (Some islands will move into Level 1, and Glasgow and Moray will remain at Level 3 for the present.) In this blog we are focusing on some of the main changes and what they mean for businesses.

Most of the country is now in Level 2. Here are some of the key things you need to know as a business, sole trader or self employed person:

Under the new guidelines, 6 people from 3 households can meet in an indoor public place like a café, pub or restaurant; 8 people from 8 households can meet outdoors; you can travel anywhere in Scotland in Levels 0, 1 or 2 but must not enter a Level 3 or 4 area unless for a permitted reason; tradespeople can carry out any work within people’s homes, such as painting, decorating or repairing; you should work from home where possible.

Places and business that can open at Level 2 include:

  • cafés, pubs and restaurants

  • all shops and stores

  • all close contact services including hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons

  • gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools

  • tourist accommodation

  • visitor attractions

  • public buildings like libraries and community centres

  • cinemas, theatres, concert halls, amusement arcades, casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys and snooker/pool halls

  • stadiums and events – with maximum numbers

Places and business that must close at Level 2 include:

  • soft play

  • funfairs

  • nightclubs

  • adult entertainment


  • Restaurants, cafés, pubs and bars can open indoors until 22:30 with 2 hour pre-booked slots, and outdoors within local licensing conditions for the consumption of food and alcoholic drinks.

  • Table service and the wearing of face-coverings (unless exempt) when not seated by all customers is mandatory in all hospitality venues.

  • Distancing requirements need to be maintained, where reasonably practicable, at all times, including when waiting to enter premises and when seated.

  • Takeaways can operate as normal. Face coverings and physical distancing rules must be followed.

  • Hotels and other accommodation providers can still serve food and alcohol to guests staying in their premises up to 22:30. Room service, including alcohol, is allowed as normal.


All retailers can open. They should follow and have implemented Scottish Government guidance to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

Glasgow and Moray: These areas will remain in Protection Level 3. Travel to and from these areas will be prohibited other than for permitted purposes, which you can find a list of here. Additional support will be provided for businesses specifically impacted by the localised restrictions. Moray will receive an extra £375,000 per week to allow businesses in hospitality and leisure to be given up to £750 per week. The Scottish Government will review the position in a week.

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