Pandemic Measures Field Report: Scotland


September 15, 2020

What is life in Scotland like right now? 

Most of Scottish society has re-emerged from the initial strict lockdown. Interactions with other households is limited. Allowed interactions might be stricter in local areas as cases emerge or might be loosened as cases come under control. This is all very carefully controlled by close central government monitoring and implemented procedures and regulations. Exemptions are made for areas such as education and places of worship.

Universities, schools, gardens, museums, galleries and castles have reopened. Businesses including pubs, restaurants and shops are also open, but with reduced capacities, mask requirements, additional cleaning protocols, and some new spacing regulations as well as contact and trace procedures. Outdoor sports are now allowed also as well as gyms and swimming pools. Live events such as concerts and comedy can take place outdoors with distancing, enhanced cleaning and reduced audience sizes.

Mask-wearing is required on public transportation, shops and grocery stores at all times. As in the States, some Scots wear a face covering at all times in public, while others wear them only when social distancing is a challenge. The Scottish Government has rolled out an app that we encourage all students to download to help facilitate test and protect procedures to help control the spread of the virus and keep the community safe. The basic rule is FACTS: Wear face covering in relevant spaces; Avoid crowds; Clean your hands and hard surfaces regularly; Two meter distancing (the length of a highland cow); Self-Isolate if you have symptoms or are contacted through the test and protect procedures.

While certain events, gatherings, or activities may be on hold during your semester, we think you’ll find life in Scotland feels relatively normal. You will be exploring more locally and independently and we will help facilitate this. You can also count on more details, resources, and recommendations for connecting with local community groups, teams, and clubs, after your arrival in Scotland.