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Scotland releases further details and guidance on the easing of COVID restrictions

Published on: 22 April 2021

Scotland COVID 22/04

Scotland has released further guidance on the easing of COVID restrictions. Scotland are keeping the level system they have already in place ranging from 0 (least restrictions) to 4 (full restrictions). They have now confirmed that from the 26 April 2021 the whole of mainland Scotland and the Islands will be lowered from level 4 to level 3 (some Islands are already at level 3 and these will remain at level 3). The table of restrictions at each level can be found on the Scottish government website here. 

Further to the easing on the 26 April the Scottish government have announced dates they hope to move to lower levels further easing restrictions:

  • 26 April: mainland Scotland and islands at Level 4 are expected to move to Level 3. Islands at Level 3 will remain there until 17 May
  • 17 May: all of Scotland will move to Level 2
  • 7 June: all of Scotland will move to Level 1
  • June (late): all of Scotland will move to Level 0

It should be noted that although Scotland is keeping the levels, it is their current intention to move the whole of Scotland from one level to the next and not by area. However the current legislative framework would allow for different areas in Scotland to move at different rates if the evidence shows this needs to happen.

To help our members British Marine has taken the table and applied it to the various sectors of the marine industry and our interpretation of the easing of restrictions is as follows:

Note Children under the age of 12 do not count towards the number of people in a group but do count towards the number of households in a group.

26th April – Scotland to move to Level 3

Passenger vessels can start to operate with full COVID secure protocols and risk assessments in place. The vessels will be operating at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing. For passengers booking on to the outside decks, each individual group will be limited to a maximum of 6 people from 6 households. Alcohol can be served to passengers in outside spaces. The internal of the vessel can also open but each booking is limited to 6 people from two households. No alcohol can be served or consumed in the internal space of the vessel. For both group bookings on the external decks and the internal space operators will need to remind customers of the regulations in place for the size of booking and the number of households in each booking. The internal space of the vessel will need to close at 8pm. For both internal and external spaced full social distancing must be maintained between different groups of passengers.

Charter bookings of up to 50 passengers can be taken for wedding receptions and wakes but no alcohol is to be served to the group. Social distancing should be maintained between different households in the charter booking.

Day hire boats (open air) – These can now start to operate with full COVID secure guidelines in place. Bookings can be taken for groups of up to 6 people from 6 households. Advanced bookings to be encouraged and at all times at the point of booking customers to be reminded of the maximum group booking per vessel.

Day Hire (with enclosure) - These can now start to operate with full COVID secure guidelines in place. As the vessel has an enclosure which can be accessed by the customers only one household per vessel is allowed. Advanced bookings to be encouraged and at all times at the point of booking customers to be reminded of the maximum group booking per vessel.

Holiday hire - These can resume with full COVID secure protocols in place. If self-catering (i.e. bareboat charter) each vessel can have a single household only. 

Brokerage – This can now resume with COVID secure protocols in place with viewings between clients and brokers both for the external and internal of the vessel.

Retail – All marine retail can open to the public with full COVID secure protocols in place.

For further information on the future easing of restrictions please visit the British Marine COVID microsite Scottish guidance page here.