The law says that nobody can leave their home without a reasonable excuse.

What makes a reasonable excuse can vary depending on the exact situation. It is likely to be reasonable to leave home in Scotland to:

  • buy food, including alcohol and other luxuries
  • buy tools and supplies for home repairs
  • exercise, including walking, running, cycling and tending an allotment
  • drive a short distance for exercise
  • get medical help and supplies, including for pets and to help someone else with their medical needs
  • escape an abusive or other dangerous situation at home
  • work, if you cannot work from home
  • take children to school or childcare, if you are a critical worker or care for a vulnerable child
  • move house, if you cannot delay your move
  • get money or collect a delivery
  • fulfil a legal obligation
  • access social, employment or victim support services
  • attend a funeral or visit a burial ground or remembrance garden

Public gatherings

Public gatherings of more than two people who don’t live together are banned. Exceptions include funerals attended by immediate family members or people working together who cannot work from home.

Police powers and fines for breaking coronavirus rules


Shops selling food, drink, medicines and other supplies are allowed to stay open. Places like cafes, restaurants and pubs are only allowed to open for takeaway.

More information on business closures

Reporting a social distancing violation

Before you report a social distancing violation in Scotland please read Police Scotland’s coronavirus information.