Nicola Sturgeon has revealed the new lockdown framework for Scotland.

The First Minister has announced major changes which will enable the country to get out of lockdown.

The framework includes the reopening of schools, care homes, relaxed rules on socialising, the reopening of the economy and a hopeful return to a tiered lockdown system by April 26.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she hopes to be able to give more detail in mid-March on the easing of restrictions in Scotland.

The First Minister said she hoped lockdown could be eased by the end of April, with all council areas in Scotland then moving into Level 3 of its tiered approach.

Speaking at Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon said: "Our current position is extremely positive and promising - and we should all take heart from that.

"But it is still quite precarious and if we are to sustain our progress, we do need to exercise care and caution."

Here, we outline everything you need to know.


When will lockdown end?

There is no definitive date yet, however, from April 26 we will move back to levels, with hopefully all of Scotland moving to level 3.

What about restaurants, pubs and cafes?

Nicola Sturgeon said it would be until the last week of April that we would expect to see phased but significant re-opening of the hospitality industry.

So from April 26, Scotland will move back to a levels system, with the First Minister stating hopefully all of the country will move to level 3.

At this level people would be able to visit restaurants, cafes and pubs.

When can schools reopen fully?

As of March 15, the rest of the primary school years, 4 to 7, and getting more senior phase secondary pupils back in the classroom for at least part of their learning.

It is hopeful that from April 5 the final phase of return to school will begin.

When can I get a haircut?

Nicola Sturgeon said it would be until the last week of April that we would expect to see phased but significant re-opening of non-essential retail and services like gyms and hairdressers.

So from April 26, Scotland will move back to a levels system, with the First Minister stating hopefully all of the country will move to level 3 at this point.

When will places of worship reopen?

Under the proposal, places of worship will be able to reopen on the basis of a restricted number of 20 people from April 5.

When will we find out our lockdown levels?

Nicola Sturgeon has said we will move fully back to a levels system from April 26 if Covid numbers reduce.

She said: "At that stage, we hope that all parts of the country currently in level 4 - will be able to move out of level 4 and back initially to level 3 - possibly with some revision to the content of the levels - and afterwards to levels dependent on incidence and prevalence of the virus at that time."


When can we travel?

Travel restrictions in Scotland will remain for "some time yet", First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Unveiling the revised road map out of lockdown in the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister said it was important that cases of the virus, particularly of new variants of the virus, were not imported into the country.

She said: “We saw over the summer how new cases were imported into Scotland after the virus had almost been eliminated. We do not want that to happen again.

"In particular we do not want to import new variants of the virus, which could be more resistant to the vaccines that we are currently using.

"And so the strategic framework rightly emphasises the importance of both travel restrictions and test and protect. They will help us to ease restrictions safely."

When can we meet outdoors?

From March 15 people will be able to meet outdoors from a maximum of four people from two households - compared to two from two now.

From April 5 people will be able to meet outdoors in groups of six from two households.

When will 'Stay at Home' be lifted?

It is hoped that, from April 5, the 'Stay At Home' restrictions will be lifted.

The current worst Covid hotspots

Today's figures

More than 600 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland during the past 24 hours.

New figures from the Scottish Government show that there have been 655 confirmed cases of the virus since Friday.

A total of 56 new deaths were registered during that time, while 1,076 people are being treated in hospital for the disease - 93 of them in intensive care.

Overall, the death toll now stands at 7,006.

In that time, 16,031 new tests for Covid-19 reported results – 4.8% of these were positive.

The 4.8% test positivity figure is important as it is below the 5% level considered by the World Health Organisation to indicate the epidemic is under control. 

As of this morning, 1,465,241 people have received the first dose of the Covid vaccination and 43,203 have received their second dose.


Where is in Level 3 lockdown?

Level 3 currently applies to the following areas only:

  • Orkney
  • Shetland
  • The following islands within Argyll and Bute: Coll, Colonsay, Erraid, Gometra, Iona, Islay, Jura, Mull, Oronsay, Tiree, and Ulva
  • All islands in Highland, with the exception of Skye, which comes within the national restrictions

What are the rules in Level 3?


  • No in-home socialising
  • 6/2 outdoors and in public places, e.g. hospitality settings i.e. max 6 people from 2 households
  • Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people counted in a gathering.
  • Young people aged between 12 and 17 can meet up in groups of up to 6 at a time outdoors and are not subject to the 2 household limit. Physical distancing is required.

​​When you meet people from another household indoors you should:

  • Minimise the number of meetings you have with people from other households each day
  • Stay at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not part of your household, unless in a public venue that is operating 1 metre distancing with additional measures being in place to avoid transmission.
  • Maintain hand and cough hygiene
  • Avoid touching hard surfaces with your hands
  • Wash your hands when you arrive, when you leave, when you get home and especially before eating or after touching surfaces
  • Do not share food or utensils – if eating, each household should bring, prepare and eat its own food separately
  • If possible, keep rooms well ventilated – consider opening windows or a door

Hospitality (food and drink)

Hospitality (alcohol on sale outdoors)

  • Not permitted 

Hospitality (alcohol on sale indoors)

  • Not permitted

Hospitality (food for consumption on-premises)

  • Permitted – last entry 17:00 and closes at 18:00
  • You should avoid visiting multiple hospitality premises on the same day. In particular, do not visit more than one pub or bar on the same day, as this increases the risk of transmission.


  • Takeaways permitted for alcohol and food as per existing arrangements

Hotels and other accommodation

  • Providers can still serve food to guests staying in their premises up to 22:00. Room service, including alcohol, is allowed as normal.

Accommodation (hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, caravan and campsites)

  • Open – socialising and hospitality rules apply
  • Tourists should not travel into, or out of, a Level 3 area for holidays or visits
  • Exceptions for essentials travel includes those who must travel for work, education, health or for those attending weddings or funerals which requires an overnight stay.
  • Those living in a Level 3 area can still use holiday accommodation in their area but should not stay in the same self-catered accommodation with another household.


  • No non-essential travel into or out of the level 3 area
  • Exemptions for essential travel for work, education, shopping health etc; outdoor exercise; weddings and funerals; and transit through restricted areas
  • International quarantine regulations apply


  • Active travel (walk, run, cycle, wheel) where possible
  • Avoid car sharing with people outside extended household wherever possible
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport
  • Face coverings compulsory


  • Open with protection measures in place.

Close contact services (e.g. hairdressers, barbers, tradesperson and beauticians)

  • Open, but may be subject to additional protective measures
  • Mobile close contact service providers must not operate in level 3 with the exception of hairdressers and barbers.

Public buildings – e.g. libraries

  • Open (with protective measures)

Stadia and events

  • Stadia must be closed to spectators.
  • No live events are permitted.


  • Open – restricted numbers (50)

Life events (weddings, and civil partnerships, funerals) ceremonies and receptions/wakes

  • Weddings/civil partnerships – 20 person limit
  • Funerals – 20 person limit
  • Wakes and receptions permitted, subject to 20 person limit
  • Face coverings must be worn except for the bride and groom (or partners) and the person leading the ceremony during a wedding ceremony or civil partnership.  

Early learning and childcare (ELC)(formal childcare)

  • Regulated school-age childcare services (including childminders caring for more than 12 children) can remain open only for children of key workers and vulnerable children.
  • Childminders (caring for less than 12 children) can continue for all ages
  • Essential informal childcare can continue for all ages.

Informal childcare

  • ​Informal childcare is permitted. You should follow the rules for socialising.  


    • Primary: Children in primary one, two and three should provisionally return to class
    • Secondary school: Senior pupils who have practical assignments to complete will be allowed to return on a "part-time" basis with no more than 8 per cent of the school roll attending "at any one time"
    • Nursery: Pre-school nurseries will open
    • Additional needs: Some children and young people with significant additional support needs will also be prioritised for a return
    • Key workers: Children of key workers will remain at school

    Universities and Colleges

    • Colleges and universities can operate using a more restricted mix of face to face and distance learning

    Driving lessons

    • Permitted

    Sports and exercise

    • All under 18s organised sports and activities are permitted, provided appropriate safety measures are followed.
    • Organised outdoor non-contact sports, personal training and coaching are permitted, provided appropriate safety measures are followed. Outdoor contact sports are not permitted, except for professional sport
    • Exercise is permitted indoors, abiding by the rules on meeting other households. No group exercise classes or sports (contact or non-contact) are permitted indoors.

    Leisure and entertainment

    • All leisure and entertainment premises must be closed (except for use in limited circumstances).

    Visitor attractions

    • All indoor and outdoor visitor attractions such as museums, galleries, educational and heritage attractions, zoos and aquariums can open providing there are physical distancing and hygiene measures in place
    • Visitor attractions with retail and hospitality facilities can open in level 3 in line with retail and hospitality guidance.

    Public services (health following NHS remobilisation plan)

    • Public services will be delivered online where possible. Face-to-face services can continue where this is essential.

    Unregulated children's activities (incl. youth clubs, children's groups)

    • Unregulated activities and services for children and young people include groups such as Brownies or faith-based classes for children and activities for parents and children such as baby and toddler groups.

    Support services (mental health, counselling, day services, respite care)

    • Permitted/online where possible.

    Offices, call centres and other workplaces

    • Essential only/working from home 

    Visiting care homes

    • Visiting a loved one in care homes is classed as essential travel – exempt from travel restrictions
    • Essential visits continue
    • Indoor visits with one designated person for up to four hours once a week
    • Garden visits with 6 max people from no more than 2 different households 60 minutes once a week
    • Window visits


    This is advice, consider which level of protection is right for you.

    All levels: We will not ask you to distance yourself from people within your own homes or to stop taking outdoor exercise.

    Level 3 shielding

    • Contact with others: Limit meeting people outside your own household, avoid indoor public spaces.
    • Shopping: Strictly follow the guidelines when shopping and limiting the number of times you go to a shop. Shop at quieter times.
    • If you cannot work from home: Speak to your employer to ensure all appropriate protections are in place. The majority of workplaces can be made safe. Where you have a concern you should discuss this with your employer.
    • School/ formal childcare: Parents or guardians should discuss with their GP or clinician whether children should still attend