Updated 5th January 2021

Please check current restrictions here.

From Tuesday 5 January, mainland Scotland will move from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes.

New laws will require people to stay at home and work from home where possible. Outdoor gatherings are also to be cut back, with people only allowed to meet one person from one other household. Places of worship are to be closed, group exercise banned, and schools will largely operate via online and remote learning. These rules will apply across the Scottish mainland until at least the end of January, and will be kept under review.

Sport and exercise is deemed to be an essential reason to travel.

Recreational shooting such as wildfowling, deer stalking or rough shooting and Angling is permitted under the following conditions:

  1. No more than two people from two households participate;
  2. The activity takes place within the local authority area in which you reside, or within five miles of your local authority area boundary.

Driven game shooting or other recreational group shooting activities with more than two people can not take place.

The management of gamebirds, either for welfare or environmental reasons will still be possible. It is likewise understood that essential bird and mammalian pest control to protect crops, livestock, or for the purposes of conservation will be permitted, as will pest bird shooting so long as it complies with relevant general or individual licences as applicable. Pest control services requested by a landowner or agent can be construed either as work (whether paid or unpaid) or voluntary service.

Detailed guidance on safe conduct while angling is available on the Angling Scotland website and from Fisheries Management Scotland.

COVID Protection levels

Government advice


  • A number of country sports and land management organisations in Scotland have published their guidance for employers, employees and practitioners, which can be found here.
  • A return to shooting - The Scottish Countryside Alliance has submitted a three phase action plan on how we can return to shooting when lockdown restrictions are eased in response to the Scottish Government's 'Framework for Decision Making'.


  • During this current national lockdown, hunting has been suspended.
  • In Scotland, the new five level system came into force on 2nd November whereby hunting can be conducted under certain conditions in Leve;s 0-3 with a maximum of 30 participants, however hunting cannot take place in Level 4 or above. There are, however, restrictions on travel and we recommend that travel to other areas, regardless of levels, should be avoided. The Hunting Office has issued specific advice to packs in Scotland who will have to continue to conduct their activities in a Covid-secure manner.


  • Advice and guidance on how to travel safely can be found here


Businesses, employees and employers

Business rates

To help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of coronavirus, the Scottish Government has made changes to non-domestic rates (business rates) for 2020-21.

The Scottish Government has introduced extra rates reliefs (discounts). It has also introduced a one-off grant for some businesses.

These reliefs will be available to non-domestic properties from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.

It will be possible to apply for the grants from 24 March 2020 and they will be available to 31 March 2021.

Potential claimants can find the appropriate information here. 

Alternatively there is the Small Business Bonus Scheme or the Rural Reliefe Scheme

NHS advice/overview

  • Download the Protect Scotland contact tracing app here
  • The latest guidance about COVID-19 from NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government, including social distancing and stay at home advice is available here.
  • Guidance on returning to registered professional practice to help with patient care in light of developments relating to coronavirus is available here.

Other useful links

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