Coronavirus restrictions in Scotland

Aberdeenshire is moving to Level 2 from Monday, 17th May 2021

Mainland Scotland is due to move to Level 2 restrictions from Monday (May 17th) following continuing good progress in supressing coronavirus. Elsewhere, island communities are to move to Level 1.

But Moray is expected to remain in Level 3 due to concerns over ‘widespread community transmission’ in the area.

That will mean that travel in and out of Moray should be for permitted reasons only from Monday, May 17th if the area remains in Level 3.

The Scottish Government is working with Moray Council and Grampian Health Board to reduce case numbers and a mobile testing unit has been moved to Elgin. Residents are being encouraged to undertake lateral flow tests.

In Aberdeenshire, the move to Level 2 will mean that from Monday, May 17th:

  • A total of eight people from up to eight households will be able to meet outdoors
  • A total of six people from up to three households will be able to meet in each other’s homes or gardens
  • If meeting friends and family indoors and gardens, physical distancing will no longer be required, and hugging will be permitted
  • In hospitality, up to six people from up to three households will be able to meet in places such as pubs, cafes, and restaurants
  • Alcohol will be permitted in such venues until 10.30pm in two-hour booked slots, and contact details will be required
  • Venues including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, music venues, comedy clubs, amusement arcades, casinos, snooker halls and bingo halls will be able to reopen
  • More than one person will be able to sing during religious services, although congregational singing is not yet permitted
  • Colleges and universities will have more flexibility to resume in-person learning

Changes to council services

In terms of council services, the move to Level 2 will not lead to significant changes at this stage but further guidance will be shared as it becomes available.

Updates on council services are available via the coronavirus (COVID-19) page.


From Monday May 17th, up to 100 people will be able to attend indoor events in Level 2 areas. The limit rises to 250 people for outdoor events with unrestricted standing, and to 500 for outdoor seated events. Organisers can apply to hold bigger events.

International travel

Although some international travel will be permitted from Monday May 17th, caution is advised and ‘staycations’ are encouraged instead of foreign holidays. A ‘traffic light’ system for international travel has been developed. View guidance on travel and transport.

Staying safe

A new app – Check in Scotland – was launched at the end of April to help Test and Protect easily contact people who need to self-isolate. Please download and use the app if you can:

  • Download the Protect Scotland app
  • Continue to work from home where possible
  • Be cautious about international travel
  • Wear your face coverings
  • Avoid places that are busy
  • Clean your hands, clean surfaces that you or others are touching
  • Maintain two metre distancing outside your home or garden
  • Self-isolate and get tested if you have symptoms


The five principles behind the FACTS campaign remain a priority:

  • Face coverings
  • Avoid crowded spaces
  • Clean hands and surfaces
  • Two metre distancing
  • Self-isolation if you have symptoms