COVID-19 UPDATES for Wildlife, Adventure and Activity Operators in Scotland

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Latest Government Updates

19th April 2021

On Tuesday 20th April, the First Minister gave an update on changes to COVID-19 restrictions which come into effect from Monday (26 April). Read the full statement here.

The following timetable of easing restrictions was outlined:

  • 26th April – whole of Scotland moves to level 3
  • 17th May – Level 2 – for example that from 17 May people will be able to meet in small numbers in each other’s homes for the first time in a long time, there will be further reopening of hospitality, and outdoor contact sport for adults will resume.
  • 7th Jun – Level 1
  • End of June – Level 0
  • Summer – a move to “something more like normality”

From Monday 26th April Tourism will reopen across Scotland – key points 

  • all remaining travel restrictions will be lifted on 26 April for travel anywhere in Scotland, and for travel between Scotland, England and Wales. So from Monday, you can travel anywhere across Britain for any purpose. We will also remove restrictions on Monday on travel to and from Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man – though people should check the rules on entry to each of these territories before you travel.
  • Tourist accommodation can re-open from Monday 26th April. However in self-catering accommodation, the rules on indoor meetings still apply. Which means that, until 17 May, two households can’t stay in the same accommodation.
  •  lateral flow testing will be available to anyone in Scotland from 26 April. You can order later flow test online for delivery to your home – and you can find information on how to do that on the Scottish Government’s website. Alternatively, you can collect the tests from Covid testing centres in the afternoon or early evening.
  • Island communities are being kept at the same level as the rest of the country at the moment, to allow travel between island communities and the rest of Scotland. “So If you are planning to travel to an island  we do encourage you to take two lateral flow tests before you depart.
    The second test should be on the day that you are planning to travel, and the first should be three days before you travel. That means that if you test positive, you have a chance to take a PCR test – which is more sensitive – to confirm the result before making a final decision on cancelling your visit.”
  • Physical Distancing rules remain the same
  • Other changes that come into force from Monday are as follows:
    • Retail can open
    • Takeaway can open from inside
    • Hospitality can open – outdoors 6 people/ 6 households and alcohol permitted. Indoors until 8:00 pm, no alcohol 6 people from 2 households,
    • Non-essential informal childcare can re-start;
    • Non-essential work is again permitted inside people’s homes. That includes cleaning – and also repair work, and painting and decorating;
    • Driving lessons and driving tests can resume;
    • Gyms and swimming pools can re-open for individual exercise; and
    • Indoor attractions and public buildings – such as galleries, museums and libraries – are also able to re-open from Monday.

Collection of Customer Data

Updated multi-sector guidance to support customer and visitor data gathering for businesses and other establishments to assist contact tracing as part of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system. Please see the guidance here:

  • Key change, data should now be collected from each member of the party not just the lead member.

Tourism and Hospitality Guidance

Guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector, including procedures for staff and customer safety and an operations checklist, has been published ahead of the 26 April reopening. Guidance covering Wedding receptions and funeral wakes is also included.


Further updates

Updated guidance on face coverings and face masks has also been published. The guidance includes information on face coverings in the workplace and additional information for businesses or operators carrying out close contact work. In addition, a general advice card for everyone at work has been published and a specific advice card for those working in the waste sector providing guidance for managers and workers is also now available.


Useful Links to funding

FIND BUSINESS SUPPORT –  this is the GO TO website for all the information you need regarding coronavirus funding and support.

Funding grants for tourism businesses in Scotland during COVID-19 pandemic including tour operators fund, tour guides fund, events fund and more…

We’re Good to Go Industry Standard

  • The ‘We’re Good to Go’ Scheme, created so businesses across all sectors of the tourism industry in Scotland can demonstrate to the public that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance has been extended.  You can sign up to the scheme here and will benefit from a streamlined application process.
  • VisitBritain has announced that tourism businesses in the UK registered to the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard scheme can now automatically be issued with the international ‘Safe Travels’ stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
    The WTTC stamp enables travellers to recognise destinations around the world which have adopted global standardised protocols – so they can experience ‘Safe Travels.’
    VisitBritain is coordinating the Safe Travels stamp issue in the UK, on behalf of the WTTC, for businesses registered to its ‘We’re Good To Go’ scheme, with those who welcome international visitors particularly encouraged to use the Safe Travels stamp.
    Any business that is signed up to ‘We’re Good To Go’, can now log back into their online ‘We’re Good to Go’ account and download the Safe Travels logo from there.
    For more information, please click here.

Business Support & Events

The Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) wants to help you plan during these uncertain times and has created a scenario planning toolkit to do just that. FIND OUT MORE 

Digital Boost Webinar Series 

Business Gateway Webinars 

Adventure Industry & Tourism Events 2021


Support Funding for Marine & Outdoor Tourism Update

  • Applications from this fund have now closed.
  • All successful applicants have now received funding.
  • We continue to lobby for those that have clearly fallen through the cracks and received no funding support.

In response to our appeal to the Scottish Government, the Outdoor and Marine fund was been increased from £2.5 million to £4 million. However, Wild Scotland and Sail Scotland continue to lobby hard on behalf on the sector in recognition that this fund has not been enough and we are looking at further support to ensure survival of businesses as we head towards opening up.

The following has been highlighted and discussions with the Scottish Government are ongoing: 

  • Underfunded grant scheme
  • Inequality of funding support
  • Continued unviable trading for parts of the sector as a result of continued restrictions
  • Catastrophic market failure for the overnight boating sector and critical short season

Other information and Links

Tourism and Hospitality Guidance

Sport and physical activity guidance 

Scotland’s Protection Levels 

Local Protection Levels 

Local advice and measures 

Government Advice and FAQ’s

Guidance for Transport Operators.

Scottish Enterprise Advice and Support 

People Support – Skills Development Scotland 

Business Gateway – digital boost and other useful webinars 

Free Protect Scotland App from NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect.  This is now available to download at and via the App Store and Google Play.
The free Protect Scotland App is the next step in stopping the spread of coronavirus and complements existing contact tracing measures, helping us to determine contacts that we may have otherwise missed, and allows us to alert people at risk far more quickly so they can steps to reduce the risk of infecting others.

Adventure Travel COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines 

Risk Assessment Templates (HSE)

First Aid Advice for First Responders UK Government 

VisitScotland –coronavirus support and information

Local Advice and measures– Advice and guidance relating to local outbreaks or clusters of coronavirus cases.

Scottish Government- What you can and cannot do

Sail Scotland Guidance for Marine Tourism Sector 

Tourism Recovery recommendations 

Coronavirus support & information | COVID Advice Pages

UK Segments during the Covid 19 pandemic ( UK Market Segments during COVID


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Previous updates and useful links relating to Covid-19

Please note that advice from the Scottish Government may differ from that of England and Wales.