This page collates the latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and advice for events' businesses, including reopening guidance based on current Scottish Government guidelines. As it becomes available, it will be updated with the latest information to support you through this challenging time.

This advice is specifically for the events industry and is correct at the time of publication.

First and foremost, everyone should follow all current guidance to minimise the spread of the virus and keep the public safe.

Scotland is operating a tiered system of restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19. At the direction of the Scottish Government local authorities are placed into a tier to curb infections in that area. Tier levels are reviewed weekly, and any changes will be updated below when they take effect.

Here are the latest rules and guidance for events taking place in Scotland:

Updated 5 June 2021

Level 0 Areas

Many of Scotland’s Islands have had persistently low levels of covid in the population. Some of these communities are now moving to level 0 restrictions.

The Islands now in level 0 are:

  • Orkney
  • Shetland
  • Na h-Eileanan Siar (The Outer Hebrides)
  • All islands in Highland (except Skye)
  • And the following islands within Argyll and Bute: Coll, Colonsay, Erraid, Gometra, Iona, Islay, Jura, Mull, Oronsay, Tiree and Ulva.

The latest rules in level 0 are:

  • Events will be able to resume with restricted numbers and physical distancing in places
  • Outdoor seated and open space events are advised to operate with a maximum capacity of 2,000 people.
  • Outdoor grouped standing events are advised to operate with a maximum capacity of 1,000 people.
  • Seated indoor events are advised to operate with a maximum of 400 people.

For full guidance on what you can and cannot do in level 0, please see the Scottish Governments Coronavirus advice page.

Level 1 Areas

Many of Scotland’s Many mainland areas have met the threshold to move to level 1 and are seeing low case numbers and low levels of hospitalisation. These areas are now in level 1 with some increased capacities for events.

The areas now in level 1 are:

  • Highland
  • Argyll & Bute
  • Aberdeen City
  • Aberdeenshire
  • Moray
  • Angus
  • Perth & Kinross
  • Falkirk
  • Fife
  • Inverclyde
  • East Lothian
  • West Lothian
  • West Dunbartonshire
  • Dumfries & Galloway
  • Scottish Borders

The latest rules in level 1 are:

  • Events will be able to resume with restricted numbers and physical distancing in places.
  • Outdoor seated and open space events are advised to operate with a maximum capacity of 1,000 people.
  • Outdoor grouped standing events are advised to operate with a maximum capacity of 500 people.
  • Small seated indoor events are advised to operate with a maximum of 200 people.

For full guidance on what you can and cannot do in level 1, please see the Scottish Governments Coronavirus advice page.

Level 2 Areas

Most Some areas of mainland Scotland have not met the threshold to move to level 1, or are seeing a rise in cases, and will remain in level 2. Glasgow City, which was the only area in level 3 has now moved to level 2.

The areas now in level 2 are:

  • Glasgow City
  • Edinburgh
  • Midlothian
  • Dundee
  • East Dunbartonshire
  • Renfrewshire
  • East Renfrewshire
  • South Ayrshires
  • North Ayrshire
  • East Ayrshire
  • North Lanarkshire
  • South Lanarkshire
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Stirling

The latest rules in level 2 are:

  • Events will be able to resume with restricted numbers and physical distancing in places.
  • Outdoor seated and open space events are advised to operate with a maximum capacity of 500 people.
  • Outdoor grouped standing events are advised to operate with a maximum capacity of 250 people.
  • Small seated indoor events are advised to operate with a maximum of 100 people.

For full guidance on what you can and cannot do in level 2, please see the Scottish Governments Coronavirus advice page.

Level 3 Areas

If cases begin to rise there is a potential to return to level 3. Currently NO areas in Scotland are in level 3.

  • At level 3 no live events other than drive-in events are permitted.

For full guidance on what you can and cannot do in level 3, please see the Scottish Governments Coronavirus advice page.

Physical Distancing – calculations and exemptions

In all levels where events are allowed to take place physical distancing must be in place within venues to allow delegates to safely maintain a 2m distance from one another. Event organisers need to calculate what capacity they can accommodate while allowing for physical distancing between delegates. While up to 100 people are permitted at an indoor event in level 2 areas, your venue might not have enough space to accommodate that number when all attendees are physically distanced.

For guidance on how to calculate venue capacities see the Scottish Government advice page here.

Event organisers will not be able to apply for an exemption for physical distancing measures to be reduced. However, if your venue can safely accommodate more delegates than are currently allowed in level 1 or level 2 while maintaining the mandatory physical distancing, you can apply for an exemption to the maximum number of delegates through your local authority.

For example, a venue in level 2 that can safely accommodate 300 delegates with 2m physical distancing can apply to their local authority for an exemption to the 100 delegate maximum capacity.

There is no limit to the size of event that might be exempted, however the decision lies with your local authority and you will be required to prove that physical distancing and delegate safety can be maintained.

For guidance on exemptions and the indicative timeline towards level 0, please see the Scottish Government advice on exemptions.

Further Scottish Government advice and guidance

To see the specific guidance for the events sector, which includes Business Events, please see the Scottish Government Coronavirus events sector guidance.

The current plans for the continued easing of lockdown restrictions can be seen here. Please remember these plans are subject to change at any time as the Scottish Government reacts to the pandemic.