Coronavirus / Level one of Covid restrictions – what does it mean?

Indoor visit ban remains but restrictions will be reviewed weekly

SHETLAND has woken up this morning (2 November) to find itself in level one of Scotland’s new tiered system of coronavirus guidelines.

It is only one of five areas in the country to be placed in level one as a result of its low prevalence of Covid-19.

But what does that mean in practice? Initially the guidelines will not feel too different than before, apart from hospitality being allowed to sell alcohol indoors and remain open until 10.30pm.


Here are some of the key protection measures in place under level one.

Indoor household visits, with a maximum of six folk from two households, should be allowed in level one but they are still off limits for the time being as a result of the national picture.

However, this should be reviewed within the next week.

People can continue to go in other houses for essential purposes like childcare and care.


The maximum number of people who can meet indoors in public places such as cafes and restaurants remains at six, from two separate households. Children under 12 do not count towards the total number.

When meeting outdoors for socialising – when weather permits, that is – the maximum number of people in the gathering should still be six, from two households. Again, children under 12 do not count towards the limit.

Bairns under 12 do not need to maintain physical distance from others.

For hospitality, the aforementioned changes will see pubs reopen today as alcohol goes on sale indoors following a temporary national ban.

From 19 November the maximum number of people allowed to meet indoors in a hospitality venue will increase to a maximum of eight from up to three households.


Table service and the wearing of face-coverings (unless exempt) when not seated by all customers continues to be mandatory in all hospitality venues.

“You should avoid visiting multiple hospitality premises on the same day,” the guidance says.

“In particular, do not visit more than one pub or bar on the same day, as this increases the risk of transmission.”

Nightclubs remain off limits under level one rules.

All holiday accommodation can stay open, but you must initially only stay with your household (or extended household) as it is considered a private dwelling.

“The default position is you can stay with a maximum of six people from up to two households (or extended households),” the guidance says.

“This has been reduced to a single household (or extended household), as we transition to the new levels.

“This tighter limit is intended to be temporary, and when it is considered safe to change it for private dwellings then this will also apply to self-catering.”

For travel you should minimise unnecessary journeys between areas in different levels and avoid any unnecessary travel to places in level three or four, such as Glasgow and Edinburgh.


In level one outdoor seated and open space events are permitted with restricted numbers. Outdoor grouped standing events should not take place.

Small seated indoor events are permitted with restricted numbers.

Indoor acts of worship are limited to a maximum of 50 people providing there is sufficient space to maintain two metre distancing.

Wedding ceremonies, civil partnership registrations, funerals, other life events can continue to take place in a place of worship, registration office or hospitality venue with a maximum number of 20 people.

Under level one “all organised outdoor sports, personal training and coaching are permitted, provided appropriate safety measures are followed”.

Indoor contact sports, however, are not permitted.

For the full list of restrictions under level one, which include other areas like working in offices, visitor attractions and unregulated children’s activities, visit the Scottish Government website here.

A postcode checker has also been introduced by the government for people across the country to find out what level their council area is in.

What level each local authority area finds itself in is set to be reviewed regularly, with the first set to take place on 10 November.

Also now in level one – the second bottom tier – is Orkney, the Western Isles, the Highlands and Moray.