Scotland's coronavirus restrictions: Here's a full list of all lockdown rules changing in Scotland on Monday May 17 including hugs, reopening of cinemas and drinking in pubs

From today Scots will be allowed to hug their loved ones and visit each other’s homes.

Coronavirus restrictions have relaxed in Scotland with most mainland areas moving to Level 2 as the country progresses out of lockdown.

It means people will be able to hug loved ones again and socialise indoors, subject to restrictions.

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Glasgow and Moray will remain in Level 3 due to virus outbreaks. Many island communities have moved to Level 1.

Nicola Sturgeon announced the latest easing of lockdown measures last Tuesday.

The First Minister said social distancing requirements during meetings indoors or in private gardens will be dropped.

“I actually feel a wee bit emotional saying this, from Monday, as long as you stay within permitted limits, you can hug your loved ones again,” she said.

And on Monday she tweeted: “Covid restrictions ease further today as many parts of Scotland move to level 2 (sadly not yet Glasgow City or Moray) and many islands to level 1.

In the rest of Scotland, rules which are going to be relaxed include physical distancing rules – meaning hugs will be allowed – the number of people allowed to socialise both indoors and outdoors, and the reopening of cinemas.

“This is a long awaited moment but remember that the virus still poses a big threat, so please continue to be cautious & very careful.”

Up to six people from three households can socialise indoors in a private home or garden without physical distancing. The government advises people to use their best judgment around physical contact.

Six people can also meet in a hospitality venue and eight people from eight houses can meet outdoors.

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Deputy First Minister John Swinney told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland: “I think there is obviously grounds for a lot of optimism and the relaxation of restrictions enables people to get on with more and more of their lives.

These are the 10 rules which are changing on Monday, May 17.


Scots will once again be allowed to hug one another in homes and gardens from Monday, May 17.

The Scottish Government believes transmission of the virus is at low enough levels - and uptake of the Covid-19 vaccines at high enough levels - to relax physical distancing rules.

Home visits

Up to six people from three households will be allowed to meet indoors in private homes from Monday.

The rule will also be relaxed to allow for overnight visits.

Outdoor socialising

From May 17 Scots will be permitted to socialise in groups of up to eight people from eight different households outside.

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Children under the age of 12 do not count towards that total.

Indoor hospitality

Currently, up to six people from two different households can meet indoors in cafes, restaurants, bars and other indoor hospitality venues.

But on Monday, the rules will be relaxed to allow six people from three households to meet at indoor hospitality venues.

Alcohol indoors

Restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can open indoors until 10.30pm, serving alcohol to customers, who must attend during two hour pre-booked slots.

Holiday accommodation

Although holiday accommodation was allowed to reopen when mainland Scotland entered Level 3, Scots were not able to go on holiday with other households.

From Monday, a family will be able to holiday in the UK with one other household, though the rules for indoor socialising still apply.


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Cinemas can reopen under Level 2 restrictions from Monday, but they must follow social distancing guidelines.

Theatres and concert halls

Theatre and concert halls can reopen but must operate within coronavirus guidelines.

Small, seated indoor events are advised to operate with a maximum of 100 people.

Other businesses which can reopen

From May 17, comedy clubs, amusement arcades, casinos and bingo halls will also be permitted to reopen.

Sport and exercise

All adult outdoor sports, personal training and coaching are permitted provided safety measures are followed.

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Other than professional sports, indoor contact sports are still not allowed.

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