Staying safe and protecting others

Scotland is opening up but it's still important for us all to be careful and follow the rules to protect ourselves and others.

There is useful and clear information about what you can and can't do in this handy infographic.

We have outlined the main rules and guidance for families below.

Physical distancing and other health measures

Any of us could carry the virus but not have symptoms and end up spreading it wherever we go. So, for now, even if we are well, we should:

  • Keep two metres distance from other people who are not in your household 
  • Wear a mask if you are going on public transport or into shops, cafes and restaurants. This applies to children over the age of five
  • Maintain hand and cough hygiene
  • Follow advice on NHS Inform about physical distancing and hygiene, and
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Make sure indoor spaces are well ventilated 

The virus spreads much more easily indoors so meet outdoors and when you're indoors keep your house well ventilated.

This is very important because: 

  • It protects your own, your family’s and everyone’s health, especially those who could be most affected.
  • It slows down the spread of the virus.
  • It helps the NHS manage.


If you can, you must work from home.

Meeting up with family and friends

  • You can meet in groups of up to 6 from 2 households in an indoor public place such as a café, pub or restaurant
  • You can meet in groups of up to 6 from 6 households outdoors, in a private garden or a public place like a park or an outdoor area of a café
  • Going into other people's houses is not allowed. (There are a number of exemptions - for example, separated parents who are sharing parenting; for those living alone, or alone with children; and couples who don’t live together).
  • Children aged 11 or under can play together outdoors with no limit on the number of children or households. 
  • You should stay two metres away from other people apart from members of your household.

Young people meeting up

Young people aged 12 to 17 can:

  • meet outdoors in groups of up to 4 people from 4 different households
  • take part in outdoor non-contact sports and other organised activities in groups of up to 15 people - and travel across local council boundaries to take part in these activities

Travelling by car

You are advised not to share car journeys with people from other households.


Nurseries have and schools have now re-opened. 

Children will be attending on a part-time basis; parents will receive information from their schools about arrangements.

When it is not safe to stay at home

For some people it is not safe at home, for example, where there is domestic abuse or housing issues.

For specialist advice on domestic abuse, call the domestic abuse helpline on 0800 027 1234 (it also has webchat and email facilities)

For specialist advice on housing, visit Shelter Scotland’s website or call 0808 800 4444 

Keeping well

It’s difficult to look after yourself and your family when everything feels so uncertain.

However,  there’s a few simple things you can do to keep yourself and your children as healthy as possible:

  • Keep to routines
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time as usual
  • Eat and drink healthily
  • Stay in touch with friends and family (phone and online)

ParentClub and Parentline have some good advice.

One Parent Families Scotland has some great information about looking after you and your family's wellbeing.

Doing the best you can 

Limiting social contact with friends and family is hard for everyone.

Some parents will be looking for information and resources to help with their child’s education at home; others will be just trying to get by.

Just remember, maintaining the health and well-being of your family is essential.

  • What your children need right now is to feel comforted and loved, and to know that this time will pass. If you have got a garden, play outside. The play parks are still open. Go out for walks but keep your distance.
  • Make meals together, paint pictures, play board games and watch films.
  • Do science experiments together or find online tours of zoos and museums and other places.
  • Start a book and read together as a family.
  • Snuggle under blankets and do nothing.

Screen time

Like it or not, we are using our screens more than usual: for fun; for learning; for working; and for keeping in touch with others. We are all be on our screens a lot more but try to keep some sort of limit on this if you can.

  • Educational and other programmes online and on TV are good for learning and entertainment.
  • Promotional videos are good for encouraging children to be physical, eat and sleep well and have good personal hygiene.
  • Keeping in touch with family and friends is important and sometimes online is the only way at present.

And more generally, all curling up to a good film or favourite programme is a great way to have family time and wind down.

Lives in Lockdown

Some parents have kindly shared their experience of living in lockdown. You can read 'Lives in lockdown; parents' accounts here.