Social distancing measures

Coronavirus - restrictions on movement

Although COVID-19 is controlled the risk of spreading it still remains. You should stay at home and limit social contact as much as possible.

The Scottish Government has confirmed we have entered Phase 2 of the route map for moving out of lockdown.

This means you should only leave the house for limited purposes, for example:

  • shopping for basic necessities (such as food and medicine) and at other shops that are open
  • exercise and other outdoor activity alone or with members of up to two other households at a time. 
  • to use outdoor spaces for other recreational purposes - for example to sit or relax alone or with members of up to two other households at a time
  • to ensure basic animal welfare needs are met, including taking dogs out
  • for any medical need, including to donate blood, to avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help someone who may be at risk
  • travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home
  • to access recycling or waste disposal services - for example, local authority household waste recycling centres
  • to attend a place of worship for one of the permitted uses (to attend a funeral service, to broadcast an act of worship, to carry out essential voluntary services or for individual prayer or contemplation, alone or with members of your household) 

You may move house, but only if it is reasonably necessary. From 29 June a wider range of house moves will be permitted.

When doing these activities, you should ensure you are at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not a member of your household or of your extended household.

These measures must be followed by everyone.


Forming an extended household

If you are an adult and you live alone, or if all the others in your household are under 18, you and the members of one other household can agree to form an 'extended household'. 

Everyone in the extended household will be able to act, and will be treated, as if they live in one household - meaning they can spend time together inside each others’ homes and not need to stay at least 2 metres apart.

This will allow people who live alone (or those living only with children under the age of 18) to be considered part of another household in order to reduce loneliness, isolation and to provide mutual social support.

However, if one member of a household gets coronavirus, there is a strong likelihood that other members of that household will also catch it. For this reason, there are some important rules which extended households should follow to remain as safe as possible:

  • only people who live alone (or who live only with children under 18 years old) can form an extended household with another household
  • a person should not form an extended household with more than one other household
  • households can end the arrangement at any time, but should not then form an extended household with a new household
  • this means that all the adults living in both households should agree to form the extended household. We would also encourage parents or guardians to discuss this with any children in their household. This is an important decision that should be properly discussed and agreed beforehand

If an individual in the new extended household develops symptoms, all members of the extended household should isolate immediately. The person with symptoms should get tested, and if they test positive for COVID-19, all members of the extended household would need to isolate for 14 days from the start of symptoms. 

People who have been advised to shield should not form part of an extended household at this time.

Those at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus (including people over 70, people who are pregnant and people with an underlying medical condition) may join with another household but should strictly follow the handwashing, surface cleaning and respiratory hygiene guidance on the NHS Inform website.

Once two households have agreed to form an extended household they may meet outdoors or indoors, visit and stay at each others’ homes, and do everything that people in other households can do, such as watch TV, share a meal and look after each other’s children.

Physical distancing between members of an extended household is not required, but you should continue to follow advice on the NHS Inform website about handwashing, surface cleaning and respiratory hygiene. For example you should wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.