Scotland moves to level 0: What does this mean for you?

From the 00.01 today, Monday 19 July, Scotland has moved to level 0. 

For Hospitality, this means that:  

  • All hospitality venues will be required to close at midnight instead of following local licensing rules. 
  • For the next three weeks at least, there will be a limit on the size of outdoor group gatherings of 15 people from up to 15 households. 
  • There will also be a requirement for one metre distancing between different groups of 15. 

N.B: Face masks will remain mandatory in public indoor settings, and the gradual return to office work has been delayed until 9 August. 

You do not need to physically distance from members of your group outdoors, or from family and friends in a private home. 

However, social distancing of 1 metre will also continue in outdoor public places between groups of people. 

The size of events and stadia attendance has changed, for events this means that:  

  • Level zero – Maximum capacities* Indoors 400; Outdoors seated 2,000; Outdoors free-standing: 1,000 

Event organisers can apply for a higher number of attendees than currently permitted within the framework via an exemption process. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) stadia and live events guidance published sets out this process. Please refer to the FAQs in the dedicated section below for more detail.  

From 9 August, it is anticipated that the country would move beyond Level 0 with the majority of COVID restrictions, including the removal of event caps, to be lifted should the necessary conditions on vaccination and harm reduction continue to be met. Some baseline protective mitigations will remain in place to stop the virus resurging and to protect those who do not have protection from the vaccination.   

For the wedding industry this means:  

  • indoors, physical distancing will be at 1 metre for marriage ceremonies and wedding receptions in all venues 
  • outdoors, groups of up to 15 people will not need to physically distance from each other, but will need to remain 1 metre from those in other groups 
  • this means that at an outdoor ceremony, a group of 15 could sit or stand together, 
  • it also means that outdoors at a reception, the group of 15 can mingle and dance with each other 
  • the couple can receive or greet their guests and move between groups outdoors, but they should remain 1 metre from groups other than their own group of 15 
  • outdoors, people attending a wedding can be served drinks and canapés without being seated 
  • All of Scotland moves to level 0.  This means up to 200 people can attend a marriage ceremony or wedding reception. 


For private homes & gardens:  

Wedding ceremony outdoors 

If you are holding a wedding ceremony in the garden of a private home, the maximum wedding numbers apply, as long as physical distancing rules can be followed. 

Wedding ceremony indoors:  

You should only hold a wedding ceremony inside your home or other private place if it is not possible to hold it outside or at a public venue. This might be, for example, because of illness or disability. 

If you are holding a marriage ceremony inside a private home then you should keep the gathering to the minimum number of people necessary. 

At protection levels 0 and 1 your numbers should be no more than the maximum allowed in the rules on gatherings indoors in a private home (of up to 8 people from 4 households in your home or theirs – and can stay overnight) ignoring the limits on household numbers. At levels 0 and 1, any interpreter required does not count in those numbers. 

Safety considerations 

If you are planning to hold a ceremony in a private home or garden you should discuss your plans with the person carrying out the ceremony. If they think that the arrangements are not safe they may refuse to carry out the marriage. 

When planning a ceremony in a private garden you should: 

  • think carefully about the available space and the need for physical distancing when deciding on guest numbers 
  • think about whether you need to provide additional toilet facilities 
  • not go into a private house if the weather is bad – instead, consider using an open-sided temporary shelter such as a gazebo 

 Whichever setting your business is run from, you must continue to work based on your Covid-19 Risk Assessment as well as the underpinning Food Safety & Health & Safety laws that you already follow.  

To find out more about what Level 0 means, click here 

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