How many households can meet in Scotland? Restrictions for indoor and outdoor gatherings - and extended household rule explained

People in Scotland are currently allowed to meet with other households indoors in limited numbers and stay overnight

Thursday, 1st October 2020, 10:48 am

As coronavirus cases in Scotland continue to climb, the Scottish Government has imposed stricter lockdown measures in an effort to keep infection rates under control.

The tougher rules brought in towards the end of September includes a 10pm curfew for all pubs, bars and restaurants, with venues facing possible closures if social distancing measures are not followed.

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But what do the latest rules say in regard to meeting with family and friends? Here’s what you need to know.

You should not meet anyone from outside of your household socially indoors
You should not meet anyone from outside of your household socially indoors

How many people can I meet up with?

Current rules state that you should not meet anyone from outside of your household socially indoors, either in your home or their home. This rule applies to all age groups.

If you have formed an extended household, you can continue to meet at home.

Informal childcare in the home can also continue, meaning grandparents are still allowed to look after children, and children who spend time living with each parent are also able to continue to do so.

Tradespeople can still visit homes to undertake work and other activities that are not social gatherings, such as visits to other households for the purpose of providing care, are also still permitted.

Where an individual household includes more than six people, they can continue to meet as a household even if the total number of people exceeds six.

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How do ‘extended households’ work?

As of 19 June, anyone who lives on their own - or only with children under 18 - has been allowed to form an ‘extended household group’ with one other household.

Currently, within an extended household group, people are able to meet indoors, without physical distancing and stay overnight.

But they must continue to see any other households outdoors only, and stay more than two metres apart from them.

No member of such an extended household group should form a similar arrangement with any other household. And an extended household must not include anyone who is shielding.

Also if one member of an extended household group gets the virus, all of the group will have to 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.

Extended household groups mean that a grandparent who lives on their own can form a group with another household in their family.

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

What are the rules for indoor public places?

Under current rules, you may meet people socially from one other household at a time indoors, up to a maximum of six people, in a public place, such as a pub, cafe or restaurant.

Guidance states that you should stay at least two metres apart from people from other households at all times, unless the venue is operating a one metre distancing rule due to additional measures being in place to avoid transmission.

No more than six people in total - from a maximum of two households - may meet at any time in such settings.

Children under the age of 12 from the two households do not count towards the total number of people at the gathering.

People have also been advised to minimise the number of meetings they have with people from other households each day.

Can I meet people outdoors?

You may meet people socially outdoors from one other household at a time, up to a maximum of six people, but you should stay at least two metres apart from people from other households at all times.

This advice applies if you are meeting others in a private garden, park, or an outdoor area of a pub, restaurant or cafe.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from these restrictions and are not counted towards the household limit, or maximum number of people.

Children in this age group also do not need to maintain physical distance from others in public places, such as parks, or in private gardens, meaning they can continue to play with their friends outside.

Young people aged between 12 and 17 can meet up in groups of up to six at a time outdoors and are not subject to the two household limit.