Nicola Sturgeon announced this week that as of Friday 25 September households in Scotland will be banned from visiting other houses.

The First Minister announced the new restrictions as Scotland enters stage four of the coronavirus alert level.

The new restrictions include pubs, bars and restaurants having a strict curfew of 10pm and that anyone breaking the rules can expect strict police action to be taken.

Here’s what you need to know about coronavirus compliance and penalties in Scotland.

The police and other relevant authorities have the powers to enforce the law where people do not comply with the rules.

If you gather in public in groups that include more than six people or people from more than two households, attend a party that breaches the restrictions in the regulations or do not comply with the rules on face coverings on public transport or in indoor public spaces, the police may:

  1. Instruct you to leave an area or disperse
  2. Instruct you to take steps to stop your children breaking these rules if they have already done so
  3. Take you home – or arrest you – if you do not follow their instructions or where they deem it necessary.


If you attend a social gathering in a private home where 16 or more people are present from more than one household, and this is not for specific permitted purposes such as work, the police have the power to enter that property to enforce the restrictions in these regulations.

This power can only be used if the police have first requested that the unlawful action stop and this request has not been complied with.

However, if they believe you have broken these rules and you are 18 or over, or you refuse to follow their instructions, a police officer may issue a fixed penalty notice for £60. However, This will be reduced to £30 if it is paid within 28 days.

If a person has already received a fixed penalty notice, the amount will increase to £120 and double on each further repeat offence up to a maximum of £960.

This will be kept under review and will increase if it becomes clear that it is necessary.

Similarly, a business or venue operating in contravention with these measures will be committing an offence.


Businesses and venues

Businesses and venues that breach the regulations will be subject to prohibition notices, and potentially fixed penalties. Local authorities working with the Health and Safety Executive and with the support of Police Scotland, are empowered to issue prohibition notices to require compliance with the Regulations including requiring that an activity ceases.

For both individuals and companies, if you refuse to pay a fixed penalty or the police consider it necessary, you may also be taken to court, and face the statutory maximum level of fines (£10,000). 

These measures are in force for a further 6 months, unless all, or parts are revoked. They were reviewed on 10 September 2020 and are being retained. They will be reviewed again no later than 21 days from that date.