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First Minister Update 11th May 2021

At the media briefing on the 11th May 2021,  the First Minister announced that from Monday 17th May most of mainland Scotland will move to Level 2, with eased restrictions on hospitality, entertainment, education and sport. You can read her full statement here.

We have highlighted the main changes below:

  • Move to level 2 with associated changes will go ahead as planned on Monday across most of Mainland Scotland from Monday 17th May
  • Moray will remain at level 3
  • Many island communities will move to level 1

The rest of Scotland will move to Level 2

  • Outdoors: 8 people from 8 households can meet.
  • Indoors and private gardens: 6 people from 3 households, (including overnight stays) can meet without physical distancing.
  • A wider review of the need for physical distancing in other settings is underway with a view to relaxing this in more public spaces.
  • Hospitality 6 people from 3 households are now permitted indoors (with social distancing) alcohol allowed indoors until 10: 30 pm in 2-hour booked slots.
  • Outdoor contact sports and indoor group exercise classes will be able to restart
  • Further opening of venues including cinema & theatre
  • Limit for events goes up to 100 (indoors), 250 (outdoors – unrestricted standing), 500 (outdoors – restricted seating)


The new rules will apply to all mainland local authority areas with the exception of Moray, which is experiencing a high and increasing number of Coronavirus cases. As a result Moray is likely to remain in Level 3 for a further period, with travel in and out of the area prohibited other than for permitted purposes. A final decision on this will be made at the end of this week. The Scottish Government is working with Moray Council and Grampian Health Board to reduce case numbers, and will provide financial support for affected hospitality and leisure businesses if Level 3 restrictions do remain in place.

Western Isles, Orkney, Shetland and remote Highland and Argyll islands

As the virus is now sufficiently under control in the Western Isles, Orkney, Shetland and remote Highland and Argyll islands, these communities are expected to move straight to Level 1.

International Travel

  • From 17 May, anyone entering Scotland from countries on a new international travel ‘Green List’ will not be required to quarantine on arrival, but will have to take a PCR test for COVID-19. The Green List will initially be the same as that in place for England but will be subject to review based on Scotland’s specific needs.
  • If you arrive from a country on the amber list – which will be the majority of countries – you must self-isolate at home for 10 days, and take two PCR tests during this period.
  • If you enter Scotland from a red list country – one of the countries identified as acute-risk under our current regulations – you will be required to enter a managed isolation hotel and stay there for 10 days. Due to changes coming into force from tomorrow, those countries will include Turkey, the Maldives and Nepal.

Please see the traffic light list of countries from England here:

Next Steps
  • level 1, Monday 8th June
  • Level 0, Monday 29th June
  • Hope to be able to move towards removal of rules during summer

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