Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 1: staying at home and away from others (physical distancing)

Rules on staying at home and away from others to help protect the NHS and save lives.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 1: staying at home and away from others (physical distancing)


The purpose of this guidance is to minimise opportunities for the virus to transmit from one person to another.

Please follow this guidance and exercise your judgement and consider your safety - and the safety of others - at all times.

Before leaving your home you should plan how you will keep safe and minimise risk. For example, consider whether and how you will avoid touching surfaces that others have touched and how you will practise good hygiene.

Also consider circumstances where physical distancing might be impaired and how you will avoid or mitigate the risk.

And consider what additional things you may need to take with you, such as hand sanitiser or a bag for discarded tissues etc.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection.

That is why three main measures are in place:

  • requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  • closing certain business and venues
  • stopping most gatherings of more than 2 households in public

Every person in Scotland must comply with these measures.

The relevant authorities, including the police, have been given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

These measures are in force for 6 months in the first instance, unless revoked.

These measures are reviewed at least once every 21 days.