Latest coronavirus restrictions

New Temporary Measures Friday 9th October, up to and including Sunday 25th October

The Scottish Government announced new temporary measures on 7 October. 

Aberdeen City Council aims to revise its own COVID-19 web pages as quickly as possible in response to Scottish Government updates as full details become available. 

Changes in Hospitality Premises

  • From 6:00 pm on Friday 9 October strict restrictions apply in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian, and Forth Valley health board areas to all hospitality venues.
  • Pubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes in the rest of Scotland including Aberdeen are not allowed to serve alcohol indoors from 6:00 pm on Friday 9th October. They can only open indoor areas between 06:00 am and 6:00 pm but only serve food and non-alcoholic drinks. 
  • After 6:00 pm indoor areas must be closed to the public except for access to toilets for customers seated in an outdoor hospitality area. 
  • Licensed premises that have seats and tables outside can continue to serve alcohol outdoors. The outside area can remain open until 10:00 pm. Any outdoor structures, such as marquees, must have at least 50% of their sides open. 
  • Customers have to provide their contact details in case contact tracers need to reach them and must wear face coverings while moving around and when not eating or drinking. Customer-facing staff must also wear face coverings, and there must only be table service.
  • Takeaways services (including those from pubs and restaurants) can continue to operate. 
  • The existing rules which state that a maximum of six people from two households can meet in hospitality venues, either indoors or outdoors still apply.
  • Hotels across Scotland can serve evening meals after 6.00 pm, but only to residents. They must not serve alcohol in their restaurants.
  • Alcohol can still be served at wedding receptions and funerals, where licenced hospitality premises have existing bookings. These events are limited to a maximum of 20 people.

What else is changing?

  • From Friday 9 October shops must revert to the two metre physical distancing rules and reintroduce those measures which had been taken earlier in the pandemic. They must limit the number of customers inside their premises to ensure this distance can be maintained and take measures to control queues outside of their premises.
  • Face coverings are already compulsory in shops and on buses, trains, planes, and taxis. From Friday 16 October rules on face coverings in work canteens will be brought into line with restaurants and cafes - everyone will have to wear a face covering when not seated at a table - for example if they are queueing, or are entering or leaving the canteen or going to the bathroom. From Monday 19 October: Face coverings will have to be worn in other communal workplace areas like corridors.  
  • While there are no longer restrictions on how far you can travel in Scotland, people are being asked not to visit the parts of the central belt covered by the tighter restrictions. The Scottish government also advises against non-essential foreign travel.

Inside people’s homes

  • You should not meet people in your home or another person’s home socially, unless you have formed an extended household.
  • These rules apply to children.
  • Children whose parents do not live in the same household can move between homes, as can non-cohabiting couples.
  • Limited exemptions apply including for childcare and for tradespeople

Private gardens or public outdoors spaces

  • A maximum of six people from two households can meet in outdoor spaces.
  • You should limit as far as possible the total number of households you meet in a day.
  • Under 12s do not count towards the maximum number of households or the number of people who can meet outdoors. Under-12s do not have to physically distance.
  • A maximum of six 12 to 17 year olds can meet in outdoor spaces, with no household limit. Physical distancing is still required

Indoors in public spaces

  • A maximum of six people from two households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants.
  • Children under 12 from those two households do not count towards the limits.


  • You should continue to work from home where practicable

Car sharing

  • You should only car share with members of your own, or extended, household, and follow guidance when there is no alternative

The Scottish Government have published details of what you can and cannot do at this stage of the route map, including information on seeing friends and family, and travel.

To move to phase 4 of the Route Map Scotland must reach a stage where the virus is no longer considered a significant threat to public safety.   

FACTS Advice 

F - Face coverings in enclosed spaces. Shops, public transport or anywhere else inside that physical distancing might be more difficult.  

A - Avoid all crowded places. Indoors and outdoors.   

C - Clean your hands and hard surfaces regularly.  

T - Two metre distancing remains the overall advice.   

S - Self isolate and book a test if you have any of the symptoms of COVID.

The Protect Scotland App 

The Protect Scotland app is now available. The Scottish Government is urging all smartphone users across Scotland to download NHS Scotland’s new contact tracing app to help suppress the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It lets people know if they have been in close contact with someone who later tests positive. It can be downloaded for free onto a smart phone from Apple's App Store or Google Play.  

Supported by a dedicated Protect Scotland website, the app is an extra tool complementing existing person-to-person contact tracing which remains the main component of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system.  

What role does Aberdeen City Council have to play?   

The focus of Aberdeen City Council’s Trading Standards and Environmental Health officers will be on providing information on restrictions for those businesses that cannot yet open and providing enforcement measures and information on new measures for those that can.  

The Council is the main regulator for retail, wholesale distribution and warehousing, hotel and catering premises, offices, and the consumer/leisure industries. 

The council has enforcement powers under new legislation which has been made to introduce these temporary restrictions to help reduce the spread of the virus. 

The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Additional Temporary Measures) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 partially come into force at 6pm on Friday, 9 October and fully come into force on Saturday, 10 October. They will remain in force until 6:00am on 26 October 2020. 

More information can be found on the Trading Standards and Environmental Health pages.

Police Scotland also have enforcement powers under these regulations which include the issuing of fixed penalty notices to businesses and the public.  They strive to engage with the public to explain the legislation and guidance and encourage compliance. They will use enforcement as a last resort only where there is a clear breach of the legislation.   

If you have any concerns about people gathering in public, house parties, or people not wearing face coverings in shops and on public transport, please contact Police Scotland on 101.  

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the regulator for premises including manufacturing, construction, waste and sites subject to major hazards legislation. Enquiries about working safely to protect people from COVID-19 at work can be raised with HSE.

You may contact us if you have any questions 

If you have concerns about a business in Aberdeen or want advice on what you can or can not do please contact us using our online form


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Return to Coronavirus (Covid-19) page.

New Restrictions FAQS

From 6 pm on Friday 9 October the following measures will be in place. 

Central belt measures 

  • All licensed premises will be required to close, with the exception of takeaway services and cafes which do not serve alcohol.  
  • Cafes which do not serve alcohol can stay open until 6 am - 6 pm. In this setting the current meeting rules apply: maximum of 6 people from 2 households. 
  • Exemption for evening meals served in accommodation for residents – until  
  • 10 pm – but no alcohol (alcohol in room service only).  
  • Exemption for specific life events (e.g. weddings, funerals etc) – which may continue (with alcohol) as per current meeting rules (e.g. 20 person limit in regulated premises). 
  • Exemption for takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants) – subject to local licensing. 
  • No group exercise classes for indoor gyms/sports courts, pools.  No change from current rules for under 18’s 
  • No adult (18+) contact sports/ training – except professional sports, indoor or outdoor 
  • Closure of snooker/pool halls, indoor bowling, casinos and bingo halls. 

Measures outside the central belt  

  • All premises may only open indoors between 6 am and 6 pm, with no sale of alcohol.  
  • Licensed premises may open outdoors, including for sale of alcohol (until 10pm). 
  • Current meeting rules apply: maximum of 6 people from 2 households. 
  • Exemption for evening meals served in accommodation for residents – until 10pm – but no alcohol (alcohol in room service only).  
  • Exemption for specific life events (e.g. weddings, funerals etc.) – which may continue (with alcohol) as per current meeting rules (e.g. 20 person limit in regulated premises). 
  • Exemption for takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants) – subject to local licensing. 
  • We want you to be safe. Please think about whether you need to travel, especially if you live in, or would be travelling to or through, the central belt. If you need to travel, follow FACTS and stay safe. Work from home is expected of all those who can. 

Further guidance on these temporary measures can be found on the Scottish Government website.

These temporary measures will be in place until 25 October. During this time we will continue to monitor the situation closely, and work with affected sectors to ensure appropriate measures are in place to reduce the transmission of Covid.  

We will let you know as soon as possible if we need to make any changes to the shielding guidance. This will be available online and via the SMS Shielding Service. If we were to ask you to start shielding again, you will receive a letter. 

No. We are not advising people to start shielding again. It is important to strictly follow guidance on physical distancing, face coverings and regular handwashing. You may want to also consider the number of people you are in contact with.  

You will be contacted by Test and Protect if you have tested positive or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. You should follow the instructions and self-isolate. Your local authority can offer essential practical support if it’s required - for example help with delivery of food and other essentials. A new financial support payment of £500 will become available for workers on low incomes who aren’t able to work at home.  

Those of you who are at highest risk from coronavirus will be feeling particularly anxious. Keeping you safe is at the forefront of decision-making. We know that shielding has had a huge negative impact on people’s mental and physical health. These new restrictions are designed to help reduce the spread of the virus in our communities and are an extra level of protection for you. Introducing these restrictions is the best way to protect you. Please continue to follow the guidance for the general population with great care. The Scottish Government will keep this under review. 

We want schools to be able to stay open. Closing down parts of the hospitality sector and taking other measures will allow this to happen. It is vital that everyone follows these measures to ensure that schools can remain open.  

We have not changed our advice for those on the shielding list. This includes children and young people. This means that children who are on the shielding list can still attend school - unless their clinician has advised them otherwise. Children living with someone else on the shielding list can also continue to go to school. 

As with all our shielding advice, we will keep this under review.   

The Scottish Government continue to urge all employers to support staff to work from home wherever possible. They ask employers to take particular account of those who were shielding.  

For those who are unable to work from home, there is a tool available which employers should use to help assess the risk to you in the workplace which can be found on the website

Remember to strictly follow the FACTS advice: 

  • Face coverings – wear a face covering in shops and on public transport 

  • Avoid crowded places 

  • Clean your hands regularly 

  • Two metre distance – maintain physical distancing from people outwith your household 

  • Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms 

To help keep yourself safe, you can visit our Shielding web pages for more information on the website.

From Tuesday 22nd September, new restrictions are coming into place across Scotland. This is to prevent the further spread of the virus. 

  • Do not meet indoors at home with people who are not in your own household or extended household. You can continue to meet with up to 6 other people outdoors from two households in total (your own household and one other).  

  • If anyone is identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (in other words, has been less than 2 metres away for 15 minutes or more), they and all those in their household group must self-isolate for 14 days. 

  • Avoid car sharing and reduce use of public transport where possible. 

  • Schools and nurseries will remain open.  

  • Further guidance on national restrictions can be found on the Scottish Government website.

The Scottish Government will continue to monitor the situation and will review these restrictions in three weeks’ time. The First Minister will make a further statement. You will also receive an alert via the text alert service if you are signed up to this service. 

If cases continue to rise, the Scottish Government will not hesitate to take further action if needed. They will let you know as soon as possible if  they need to make any changes to the shielding guidance. This will be available online and via the text alert service. If they were to ask you to start shielding again, they will contact you to provide advice and support. 

If you have not already signed up, you can do so by texting your 10 digit CHI number to 07860 064525. You can find your CHI number on the shielding letter you have received. 

There is lots of information which is updated regularly at including information on case numbers from Public Health Scotland. Public Health Scotland's dashboard can be used to: 

  • see where COVID-19 cases in Scotland are growing or reducing over time 

  • find out more about the number of cases in your local council or health board area by filtering the dashboard's data 

We're working hard to create a tool that will help you access data about infection rates in your area. We will update you on this soon. 

The Scottish Government also publishes a 'modelling the epidemic' report each week which can also be found through The first page of these reports contains a summary of the report's key points. This includes current estimates of the R number in Scotland and the growth rate of infections. 

Localised outbreaks have now become more generalised across the country with increases in most local authority areas. 

No. The new restrictions will not affect people's ability to leave their house and attend an appointment for a seasonal flu vaccination. Both you and your household members will be offered a free flu vaccination this year.  

It is important you get your flu jag for three reasons: 

1. Flu can be serious and life threatening. Every year thousands of people in Scotland are hospitalised with flu. People with health conditions are 18 times more likely to die from flu than those without health conditions. 

2. To reduce the risk of spreading flu to friends and family. 

3. To help our NHS avoid the pressure that a spike in seasonal flu would put on top of COVID-19. 

From Wednesday 23 September you cannot meet people from any other households in your home or another person’s home socially, unless they are in your extended household. These rules also apply to children

Children whose parents do not live in the same household can move between homes, as can non-cohabiting couples, those providing childcare, and for tradespeople.

When meeting people outside your household for a social gathering, you may meet people socially from no more than 1 other household at a time.

This limit applies if, for example, meeting others in an outdoor space including a garden or park, or in a pub, restaurant, or café.

No more than 6 people in total (from a maximum of 2 households) may meet at any time in such settings. You should always stay at least 2 metres apart from people from other households.

Children under 12 from the 2 households do not need to maintain physical distance and do not count towards the total number of people at the gathering. Adults accompanying these under 12s should maintain physical distancing from other adults not in their own household or an extended household.

No, You should only car share with members of your own, or extended, household, and follow guidance when there is no alternative

Yes, but you must ensure you wear a face covering.

The rules regarding gatherings apply for Community Centre activities

Gatherings inside for social interactions and which include more than one household are still limited. Group activities are therefore restricted.

Activities which may take place -

A gathering/activity in an indoor public place that is only for people from up to two households. If someone from one of those households requires a carer, from another household, to assist them for their health and wellbeing, that carer is also permitted to attend.

People under 18 may take part in organised activities as follows -

  • When in an indoor facility, those aged 12 and over should only participate in organised non-contact sport and should maintain physical distancing.
  • Children under 11 can play organised contact sport both indoors and outdoors.

An activity to take part in organised exercise.

Where the gathering/activity is for childcare, education, or training.

Remote working should remain the default position for those who can.  Those whose job relies on being in the office can be asked to return, assuming working practices have been implemented.

Yes, there is nothing in the regulations which changes the way people work.

No, hairdressing salons and barbers are not affected by the new restrictions.

No, shops will remain open. A face covering must be worn by all people in shops except where an exemption applies.


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