Staying safe and protecting others

Strict regulations have been imposed to try and suppress the spread of the virus. The main rules and guidance for families are outlined below.

You can find out the full details in the Scottish Government guidance here

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 are all being asked to:

  • 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. This also applies to children over the age of five.
  • Maintain hand and cough hygiene
  • Avoid touching hard surfaces such as gates, walls, fences and park benches with your hands
  • Follow advice on the NHS Inform website about physical distancing and hygiene, and
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

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 should work from home.

Meeting up with family and friends

  • Visiting other people's houses is not allowed with a number of exemptions (exemptions are for those living alone, or alone with children, those who form extended households; for couples in non co-habiting relationships; for the provision of informal childcare by, for example, grandparents; and tradespeople.
  • You can meet family and friends in public indoor places such as cafes and restaurants, though only with one other household and with a maximum number of six
  • You can meet outdoors, including in your garden, with one other household in groups of up to six 
  • Children under 12 can play together outdoors with no limit on the number of children or households 
  • Young people between 12 and 18 can meet in groups of up to six
  • Make sure you stay two metres away from other people apart from members of your household

Travelling by car

You should not share journeys with people from other households.


Schools have returned. However, the blended model of schooling remains a contingency plan.

Leisure and entertainment

  • Play parks are open 
  • Organised outdoor contact sports play and physical activity, for children and young people under 18 is permitted
  • Museums, galleries, monuments, libraries, cinemas, and other visitor attractions can open again. Physical distancing and other safety measures (e.g. ticketing in advance) are in place

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

This is still a different way of life for us all. With restrictions still in place. 

A few simple things you can do to keep yourself and your children as healthy as possible are:

  • 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 produced information about how to keep your children occupied.

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, everything else is optional.

  • 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 playparks are open again. 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.
  • Do your best with them and try to keep in mind that, after this time has passed, how your children feel will be more important in the long run than what they missed at school.

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 will 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 will be 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 with us. You can read 'Lives in lockdown; parents' accounts here.