Scotland Reopening?

By: Zachary Burns

April 1, 2021

Please bare with me while I scream here in excitement. SCOTLAND IS FINALLY REOPENING!!! That is right I did scream that and I have no shame for doing it either. Okay okay, so you have to imagine what my voice sounds like because you are reading this. I know that you cannot see my pure excitement and it is disappointing.

After being locked down 3-times and yes I did say 3-times (crazy to think), the time has come for this beautiful country to reopen. Scotland is slowly starting open up again and the Scottish Government on the 1st of April (I know go figure they decided to share this information on April Fool’s Day) has provided a timetable for their reopening. I have provided below what the government has shared on their website.


2nd – The lifting of the ‘Stay at Home’ order will be replaced with a ‘Stay Local’ order. What does that mean? They are maintaining local restrictions on travel for at least a three-week period.

5th – The government will continue to monitor the data closely (things may change at any moment). There is a plan to ease current restrictions in the level 4 areas (some activities/settings have been permitted in Level 3 island communities) including:​

  • the resumption of outdoor contact sport for 12-17 year olds
  • return of college students within the top three priority groups identified by Colleges Scotland as most likely not to complete this academic year (estimated as 29% of learners)
  • reopening of non-essential ‘click and collect’ retail
  • extending the list of retail permitted to include:
    • garden centres (indoor and outdoor)
    • key cutting shops
    • mobility equipment shops
    • baby equipment shops
    • electrical repair shops
    • hairdressers and barbers (with shopfronts – not mobile services), by appointment only
    • homeware shops
    • vehicle showrooms (appointment only) and forecourts

There will still be in place a prohibition of in-home socialising and will be kept under review.

12th or 20th – Children will go back to school full-time.

26th – The continuation of reopening is subject to supply. The government has a plan to have offered the vaccine to priority groups 1-9, based on the advice from the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (this is for the protection of the most vulnerable in the Scottish population). There is an expectation for the significant reopening of the economy and society as long as the data allows it. This will likely include the following easings (some of these activities/settings are already permitted in Level 3 island communities).

  • extending outdoor socialising to permit up to 6 people from up to 3 households to gather
  • allowing 12-17 year olds to meet outdoors in groups of 6 from up to 6 households
  • travel within all of mainland Scotland permitted (subject to other restrictions that remain in place)
  • remaining shops can reopen and mobile close contact services can resume
  • gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise
  • tourist accommodation to reopen (self-catering accommodation to be restricted in line with rules on indoor gathering)
  • work in people’s homes to resume
  • non-essential childcare permitted
  • driving lessons and tests to resume
  • weddings and funerals for up to 50 (including wakes and receptions with no alcohol permitted)
  • libraries, museums, galleries re-open
  • outdoor hospitality to open till 10pm with alcohol permitted. Indoor hospitality permitted without alcohol and closing at 8pm
  • social mixing in indoor public places will be subject to current maximum of 4 people from up to 2 households

There will still be in place a prohibition of in-home socialising and will be kept under review.


17 – After three weeks from the publication of the last update (from the Scottish government), with progress provided from the vaccination programme and what they (government) has learned about the impact on reducing virus transmission, they will be in a better position to add a new indicative date for further easing of restrictions. Introduction to the following easings:

  • re-introducing in-home socialising for up to 4 people from up to 2 households
  • further re-opening of hospitality: bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can stay open until 10.30pm indoors with alcohol permitted and 2 hour time-limited slots and until 10pm outdoors with alcohol permitted
  • adult outdoor contact sport and indoor group exercises can resume
  • cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls can re-open subject to capacity constraints
  • small scale indoor and outdoor events can resume subject to capacity constraints (to be confirmed following stakeholder engagement)
  • colleges and universities can return to a more blended model of learning
  • non-professional performance arts can resume outdoors


The Scottish Government is aware that the COVID-19 virus is unpredictable and like any virus it has the ability to mutate. It is absolutely essential that they allow enough time between the different sets of easing times to assess what effect they have had on the R number and other virus indicators. At this time, it is too early to give specific dates beyond the month of May. However, they (the government) understand the need for their people and businesses to return. It is with great hope that with the beginning of the month Scotland will be moved back to Level 1. In this level it will allow the country for further relaxation across all areas of the economy and society, while still applying the 6-foot distancing, other non-pharmaceutical interventions, and looking to the facts for guidance. By the end of June, the government hopes that they will be able to move to Level 0.

The Scottish Government is also prepared to stop any reopening if they believe the data shows that the virus is spreading again. They will act accordingly and quickly should another outbreak arise. This can be determined on a local or regional basis, and it will depend on the nature of the outbreak. However, the government will not leave any restrictions in place for any longer than they are necessary to meet their responsibility to safeguard the people of Scotland.

Early June

  • up to 6 people from up to 3 households can socialise indoors in a home or public place
  • up to 8 people from 3 households can socialise outdoors.
  • 8 12-17 year olds can meet socially from 8 households outdoors
  • hospitality can remain open until 11pm
  • attendance at events can increase, subject to capacity constraints
  • indoor non-contact sport can take place.
  • increased numbers at life events and places of worship subject to stakeholder engagement
  • casinos, funfairs and soft play can open, subject to capacity constraints

Late June

  • a phased return of some office staff
  • events increase numbers subject to capacity constraints
  • increased numbers at life events and places of worship subject to stakeholder engagement

The article up above is from the Scottish Government website up and was updated on the 4th of April 2021.

To find out more information I have provided the links below where I have found my information.

Your Next Adventure is Calling

Signature Scotland Experiences

Discover Scotland with Royal B Travel

Embark on a journey that’s more than just a trip — it’s an extension of your lifestyle and aspirations.

Your Scottish Story Awaits...