Here’s when staying overnight with family could be allowed in Scotland

By Claire Schofield
Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 12:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 12:31 pm
(Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock)

Lockdown restrictions have now been in force in Scotland for three months, forcing many people to be apart from their loved ones.

However, following the Scottish Government’s latest review on 18 June, a slight relaxation to rules was introduced as the country moved into phase two of its exit plan.

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But what does the guidance say about staying with family?

What are the current rules on visiting family?

As of 19 June, people from one household can meet with people from up to two other households outdoors.

These two households can meet together or separately, and the rules state it does not always have to be the same households that meet.

However, there should be no more than two households together at one time, and no more meetings than two per day. Groups should also not exceed more than eight people at one time.

Guidance now states that people can go inside another household to use the toilet, if necessary, if you are meeting in the garden of another household.

People who have been shielding are now allowed to go outside for exercise, and from 19 June are permitted to meet people from one other household, providing social distancing measures are adhered to and groups do not exceed eight people.

Are overnight stays allowed?

From 19 June, anyone who lives on their own, or only with children under the age of 18, is allowed to form an ‘extended household group’ with one other household, but this must not include anyone who is shielding.

Within an extended household group, people will be able to meet indoors, without physical distancing and stay overnight, but only if they wish.

However, overnight stays are only permitted for those who meet these two criteria and they must continue to only see any other households outdoors, and stay more than two metres apart from them.

No member of an extended household group should form a similar arrangement with any other household, and if one member of the group gets the virus, everyone will have to self-isolate, whether or not they are living in the same property.

Those who choose to form extended households are encouraged to pay particular attention to hygiene measures – to reduce the risk that one household will bring the virus into another.

The changes mean that as of 19 June, a grandparent who lives on their own can form a group with another household in their family.

It will allow a single parent and their children to join with another household for support, and it will allow a non-cohabiting couple, where at least one of them lives alone, to be reunited indoors without physical distancing.

When will overnight stays be allowed for everyone?

Overnight stays for those who do not live alone will only be permitted once Scotland enters phase three of its lockdown exit plan.

During this phase, day to day life will begin to feel closer to normal.

The Scottish Government expects the virus to have been suppressed in phase three, and the Test and Protect system will be functioning across the country.

This will help to provide an understanding of where any additional local measures may be required, if the virus is still evident in parts.

By phase three, it is expected that people will be able to meet with others from more than one household indoors, with physical distancing and hygiene measures in place.

Overnight stays are likely to be permitted at this point, if it is considered safe to do so.

The Scottish Government will conduct a review of current measures every three weeks, with the next update due to take place on Thursday 9 July. After this point, it will be decided if it is safe to progress to phase three.