Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector

Guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector, including procedures for staff and customer safety.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector
Tourist accommodation

Tourist accommodation

COVID-19 or other illness on the premises

In the event that a guest develops symptoms whilst staying away from home, they should immediately book a test through NHS Inform or, if they can’t get online by phoning 0800 028 2816.

In accordance with Test and Protect, people with symptoms are required to self-isolate and book a test. To find out more on self-isolation advice for close contacts, please visit NHS inform. 

If guests who are isolating can travel home safely to isolate, avoiding the use of public transport, they should do this. In the event that this is not possible, if guests are able to isolate safely in holiday / temporary accommodation, this may be advisable. If such an extended stay is necessary, unless otherwise provided for in the contractual terms of the booking, the guest will normally be required to pay the costs of an extended stay in all but exceptional circumstances. Those who test positive for coronavirus should not travel by public transport or take a flight. If possible, they would be able to drive themselves home. If the guest is either unable to travel home safely or to isolate within their current accommodation (for example if there are shared facilities, or risks cannot be mitigated to protect staff), the guest should discuss this with the NHS Test and Protect team. The guest may be signposted to the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000 if they need help to isolate and cannot arrange it themselves or through friends and family.

In some circumstances further discussion may be required with the local Health Protection Team and local authority to ensure that the person has suitable accommodation to isolate safely and effectively.

After the required period of self-isolation, guests and anyone else in their party who has been affected can then return to their main place of residence.

Non-coronavirus illness

If visitors become unwell (with non-coronavirus symptoms) while on holiday in Scotland, they should refer to the NHS inform website for self-management advice, information about medical services available locally, and other information about how they can access services. Depending on the nature of the illness a number of different services are available.

Local community pharmacies are a very useful first stop for any health advice, treatment of minor ailments or injuries. If necessary patients can also be seen as a temporary resident by the local GP practice. Please phone the GP practice first before attending. If you need to be seen by a doctor or another member of the team e.g. a practice nurse, the practice may offer you a telephone consultation or a video consultation. Depending on the problem they might advise you to attend the local Minor Injury Unit or Emergency/Accident and Emergency department. 

If you are visiting from another part of the UK, you may also be able to contact your own GP practice who may be able to offer you a telephone or video consultation, depending on the nature of the problem. 

If the medical issue occurs “out of hours” after 6pm in the evening to 8am in the morning and over the weekends, and is not an emergency, then please call 111 for advice. They will put you in touch with the local out of hours GP service if necessary. 

In an emergency (for example suspected heart attack or stroke, breathing difficulties or severe bleeding) patients should dial 999 which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Face coverings in tourist accommodation

Guests residing in tourist accommodation, and those sharing within tourist accommodation are exempt from face coverings rules if members of the public (non-guests) do not have access. 

However, if accommodation providers wish to recommend the use of face coverings in communal areas within tourist accommodation where members of the public (non-guests) do not have access, they can still apply this measure for the protection of guests and members of staff. This may be advisable, particularly in busy or more crowded spaces. 

Guests who book properties for exclusive use would not be required to wear face coverings.

Q: Do guests have to wear a face covering in shared sleeping accommodation – such as a dormitory room in a hostel? 
A: No, this is not required as the sleeping accommodation would only be accessible to those who are occupying the dormitory or bedroom. 

Q: Do guests have to wear a face covering in a hotel room or suite? 
A: No, as this space would only be accessible to those occupying the bedroom or suite.

Q: Do guests have to wear a face covering in a communal space (toilets, lounges, kitchens or dining spaces) within a hotel, hostel, guest house or B and B? 
A: Yes, if members of the general public (non-guests) have access then they would be required to do so, unless eating or drinking. Accommodation providers with staff on-site (for example hotels, hostels etc.) also have discretion to recommend the use of face coverings in communal areas where members of the public (non-guests) do not have access (for example, lounge areas, kitchens, bathrooms). This may be advisable in busy or crowded spaces where guests congregate outside of shared bedrooms and dormitories. 


Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

First published: 16 Dec 2021 Last updated: 28 Feb 2022 -