Lockdown Phase Three: what are the changes?

On Thursday 9th July, the First Minister confirmed that due to the progress we’ve made in suppressing Covid-19, we can move to phase three of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown.

Coronavirus, although at very low levels in Scotland, is still out there and presents a real danger to life and to the progress we have made over the past few months. Although these changes represent a significant easing of the rules, we must all continue to follow the rules and keep our guard up.

Remember also that Test and Protect is now in place across Scotland. This is Scotland’s way of putting into practice the ‘test, trace, isolate, support’ strategy. If you start showing any symptoms of coronavirus—that is a high temperature or fever, a new continuous cough, or a loss of, or change in sense of smell or taste— then you should visit the NHS Inform website to book a test or call NHS 24 on 0800 028 2816.

Remember FACTS:

F – Face coverings should be worn in enclosed spaces.
A – Avoid crowded areas, both indoors and outdoors.
C – Clean your hands and hard surfaces regularly and thoroughly.
T – Two metre distancing from people outside of your household.
S – Self-isolate, and book a test immediately, if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Please continue to follow these rules to stay safe, protect others, and save lives.


From Friday 10th July:

  • Face coverings will become mandatory in shops. Some exemptions will be in place, e.g. if one cannot be worn for medical reasons.
  • Public transport and retail, including personal services such as hairdressers, may have an exemption to the general 2m social distancing rule. This must be in line with guidance and full mitigations must be in place.
  • Children under 12 do not need to physically distance from other households either outdoors or indoors.
  • A maximum of 15 people from 5 households can meet together outdoors with physical distancing.
  • Limited indoor gatherings will be permitted. A maximum of 8 people from 3 different households can meet indoors with physical distancing and hygiene measures. This can include overnight stays. Adults should not meet with people from any more than 4 different households in this manner in a single day.
  • People who are part of a non-cohabiting couple no longer need to observe physical distancing indoors or outdoors.
  • Those shielding will not have to physically distance from those they live with, and they will be able to form an extended household if they live on their own or with children under 18.

From Monday 13th July:

  • Organised outdoor activities, play, and contact sport can resume for children and young people, subject to guidance being followed.
  • Non-essential shops inside shopping centres can re-open, following all relevant health and safety guidance.
  • There will be increased capacity within community optometry practices for emergency and essential eye care.
  • Dental practices begin to see registered patients for non-aerosol routine care.
  • Pregnant women can have a designated person company them to ante and post natal appointments. In addition to the birth parent, one other person can be appointed to attend the birth and make ante and post natal ward visits.

From Wednesday 15th July:

  • Indoor restaurants, cafés, and pubs will be able to reopen.
  • All holiday accommodation including hotels may reopen, following appropriate guidance.
  • Museums, galleries, cinemas & libraries can reopen with physical distancing and other safety measures.
  • All childcare providers can open subject to individual provider arrangements.
  • Hairdressers and barbers can reopen, with enhanced hygiene measures.
  • Places of worship can reopen for communal prayer, congregational services and contemplation.
  • There will be an easing of restrictions on attendance at funerals, marriages, and civil partnerships, with physical distancing and limited numbers.

From Wednesday 22nd July:

  • Personal retail services which had not yet been able to reopen, for example beauticians and nail salons, will be able to reopen with enhanced hygiene measures in place.
  • Universities and colleges can have phased return with blended model of remote learning and limited on campus learning where a priority. Public health measures (including physical distancing) must be in place.
  • Motorcycle instruction as well as theory and hazard testing can resume. Driving lessons and tests for cars will not resume yet.

Other changes during phase three:

  • Other planned phase three activities which have not yet got a date attached to them, but will not restart before 31st July:
    • The reopening of non-essential offices and call centres.
    • The resumption of outdoor live events.
    • The reopening of indoor entertainment venues such as theatres & bingo halls.
    • The reopening of indoor gyms and resumption of non-professional adult contact sports.
    • It is the ambition and the intention of the Scottish Government for schools to return full time in August. This is dependent upon the continued suppression of coronavirus in Scotland.