When can I stay overnight with family? Rules on visiting households in Scotland from 10 July

Relaxations to rules on visiting family and friends will change in Scotland from 10 July, the First Minister has confirmed

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 update on 9 July, several lockdown restrictions are to be eased further as the country enters phase three of its four-stage exit plan.

But what does the guidance say about staying with family?

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What are the rules on visiting family?

As of Friday (10 July), people will be allowed to meet up in extended groups outdoors, and with two other households indoors, the First Minister has announced.

Updated rules state that as of 10 July onwards, up to 15 people from five different households are permitted to meet up outdoors, providing social distancing is maintained.

This includes outdoor public spaces, such as parks, as well as private gardens.

As for indoor meetings, gatherings of up to eight people with three households will be allowed.

Nicola Sturgeon noted that this update was one of the “highest risk changes” the Scottish Government has made so far, and stressed that it is essential to continue to strictly follow all of the public health advice.

Are overnight stays allowed?

From 10 July, overnight stays for those who do not live alone will be permitted.

Ms Sturgeon also announced that couples who do not live together will be able to meet without having to physically distance, regardless of their living arrangements, from 10 July onwards.

Households are limited to meeting up with four other households in total in one day, indoors or outdoors, although these limits do not apply for those under the age of 18.

Physical distancing indoors no longer applies to children under the age of 12.

How do ‘extended household groups’ 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.