Guidance on travelling within Scotland

There is no restriction on travel within Scotland if individuals are acting in line with all other guidance which supports the Routemap. There are exceptions to this where restrictions are in place relating to local outbreaks or clusters of coronavirus cases. The local advice and measures guidance provides additional information.

Guidance is  in place to support our safety - and the safety of others - at all times.  When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection.

The following guidance is intended to provide practical advice and guidance on travelling within Scotland, for various purposes however it does not cover every particular circumstance.

General travel guidance

In order to ease demand on the transport network, we encourage you to access goods, services and activities within your local area as much as possible by walking, wheeling or cycling if you can. Please plan ahead, timing your journey to avoid busy times and please think about your need to use public transport while capacity is constrained.

If sharing a private vehicle with others out with your household please refer to the guidance on car sharing.

  • Stay local as much as possible for goods, services and activities.
  • Continue to work from home where you can.
  • Avoid crowded places where physical distancing may be difficult
  • Use your judgement - if somewhere is likely to be busy, you should avoid going there. If you arrive somewhere and it is busy, alter your plans and consider going somewhere else that is quieter.
  • Remember that the purpose of the restrictions is to prevent the transmission of the virus. Take steps to protect yourself and protect others.
  • Where possible walk, wheel or cycle, whilst complying with the physical distancing measures.
  • By walking, wheeling or cycling if you can you're improving your own health and helping to keep public transport for those who need it most.
  • Please consider whether you need to use public transport, to ensure it is available for those with no alternative.
  • Please plan ahead when travelling, avoid the peaks and be patient when travelling.
  • Be considerate to others who may need longer to board and disembark.
  • Make sure you adhere to physical distancing on public transport and at stations, terminals and stops.
  • On public transport, do not use accessible seats / areas unless you have a need.
  • You must wear a face covering on public transport, in taxi and private hire vehicles and in stations (with exemptions) and follow appropriate hygiene measures.
  • Travel to islands is permitted for all purposes consistent with the relevant phase of the Routemap.

Read further information on what Transport Scotland are doing to enable the phases of the Routemap.


Travel for leisure

Travel for exercise, recreation and to meet friends and family (leisure)

You should avoid crowded places where physical distancing may be difficult.

We encourage you to stay within your local area, within 5 miles from your home, for exercise or other leisure activities if you can.

We encourage active travel, walking, wheeling or cycling as a first choice, as it is good for health, the environment and relieves pressure on the transport network.

The public transport system continues to have limited capacity due to physical distancing and lower or different service provision in some areas. Therefore please think carefully about whether you need to use public transport for travel to exercise, meet friends and family or other leisure activities.

If sharing a private vehicle with others out with your household please refer to the guidance on car sharing.

If you are using a private vehicle make sure that you plan ahead where possible, and check to see that your intended car park is open. Otherwise, if parking on-street please be considerate of the local area and residents and don’t park on pavements or over dropped kerbs.

Please do not use Accessible Parking Bays unless you are a Blue Badge Holder.

Use your judgement. If somewhere is likely to be busy you should avoid going there. If you arrive somewhere and it is busy, change your plans and go somewhere quieter.


Travelling to work

If possible, please continue to work from home.

We are asking people to continue to walk, wheel or cycle if they can and where that is an alternative to using public transport. If using public transport, to be mindful of the restrictions and guidance in place. Be considerate to others who may need longer to board and disembark.

On public transport, do not use accessible seats/areas unless you have a need.

If sharing a private vehicle with others out with your household please refer to the guidance on car sharing

If you will be travelling in a works vehicle, either to or from work or during your working day, please refer to the published guidance.

Where staff need to be present at the workplace to do their job, we have asked employers to be as flexible as possible, to allow earlier or later start and finish times to spread peoples use of the transport system so it’s less busy at the start and end of the traditional working day.

We are engaging with businesses to identify other potential measures to ease pressure on the transport system while ensuring those who need to travel to work can do so as safely as possible.

For people who need to travel we are asking everyone to plan ahead when travelling and avoid traditionally busy times wherever possible.

If driving, remember some car parks may be closed so we would encourage people to check before travelling.

Please do not use Accessible Parking Bays unless you are a Blue Badge Holder, even if the car parks appear quiet.

For those who need to use public transport, ensuring safety when travelling is our number one priority - we are continuing with the requirement for physical distancing and operators have increased the level of cleaning on all transport.

Physical distancing means that fewer seats than normal are available. We are increasing the number of services as much as is possible, however, we also need fewer people to travel than normal to help keep services available for those who need it most. Do not use accessible seats/areas unless you have a need.

It is vital that everyone takes personal responsibility for their own and others’ safety when they are travelling by public transport and adhere to physical distancing when travelling.

The reduction in travel and increased walking, wheeling or cycling improved air quality during lockdown – as we move through this transition, we encourage everyone to consider continuing to work from home and do business virtually where they can and to walk, wheel and cycle wherever possible so there are lasting improvements to the environment and health.


Travelling to school

We are asking staff, parents/carers and children and young people to continue to walk, wheel or cycle to school as a first choice where they can. This is good for health and the environment as well as relieving pressure on the transport network.

The public transport system continues to have limited capacity due to physical distancing and lower or different service provision in some areas. Therefore please think carefully about whether you need to use public transport for travel to school.

If using public transport, to be mindful of the restrictions and guidance in place. Be considerate to others who may need longer to board and disembark.

If sharing a private vehicle with others out with your household please refer to the guidance on car sharing.

If you are using a private vehicle make sure that you plan ahead, if you can, and make sure that your intended car park is open. Otherwise, if parking on-street please be considerate of the local area and residents.

Further guidance in relation to schools, including Dedicated School Transport provided by Local Authorities, is contained in Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance on preparing for the start of the new school term in August 2020.


Travelling for shopping etc.

Travelling for shopping or other personal business (e.g. errands, healthcare etc.)

You should avoid crowded places where physical distancing may be difficult.

We encourage you to stay within your local area, within 5 miles from your home, for shopping and other personal business, where possible.

We encourage active travel, for example by walking, wheeling or cycling, as a first choice, as it is good for health, the environment and relieves pressure on the transport network.

The public transport system continues to have limited capacity due to physical distancing and lower or different service provision in some areas. Therefore please think carefully about whether you need to use public transport for travel to exercise, meet friends and family or other leisure activities.

If sharing a private vehicle with others out with your household please refer to the guidance on car sharing.

If you are using a private vehicle make sure that you plan ahead, if you can, and make sure that your intended car park is open. Otherwise, if parking on-street please be considerate of the local area and residents.

Use your judgement. If somewhere is likely to be busy you should avoid going there. If you arrive somewhere and it is busy, change your plans and go somewhere quieter.


Holidaying within Scotland

The public transport system continues to be limited in capacity due to physical distancing and lower or different service provision in some areas. Therefore please think carefully about whether you need to use public transport for your holiday travel.

You should avoid crowded places where physical distancing may be difficult, so please use your judgement. If somewhere is likely to be busy you should avoid going there. If you arrive somewhere and it is busy, change your plans and go somewhere quieter.

You should consult the customer guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector for advice on good practice.

If sharing a private vehicle with others out with your household please refer to the guidance on car sharing.

If you are using a private vehicle make sure that you plan ahead where possible, and make sure that your intended car park is open. Otherwise, if parking on-street please be considerate of the local area and residents. and don’t park on pavements or over dropped kerbs.

Please do not use Accessible Parking Bays unless you are a Blue Badge Holder, even if the area is quiet

In relation to travel to and from islands, see below.


Travelling to islands

The gradual easing of restrictions applies equally to all parts of Scotland, including the islands. Ferry travel is now allowed for all purposes which are consistent with the Routemap as a whole and associated guidance.

Capacity has increased since lock down but those intending to travel should note that, as with all public transport across Scotland, capacity will remain constrained by the need to implement physical distancing requirements to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.

It is essential that you plan your journey and check with travelinescotland.com or your ferry operator for the latest travel advice on your route. Please also check the arrangements for your journey to the port and onwards on the island, including subsequent ferries, as there may be adjustments, capacity limits and longer connecting times.

Where possible, you should book in advance. Please refer to the ferry operators specific advice.

If sharing a private vehicle with others out with your household please refer to the guidance on car sharing.


Where can I get journey planning information?

Journey planning including Rail and Bus

Travel on the trunk road network

Ferry operators


How far can I travel?

There is no limit on travel distance, if individuals are acting in line with all other guidance. However, in order to ease demand on the transport network, we encourage you to stay within your local area as much as possible and please think about your need to use public transport while capacity is constrained.


How can I travel safely?

Please refer to our Guidance on how to travel safely.

Should I wear a face covering when travelling?

You must wear a face covering on public transport or at a bus or railway station or in an enclosed ferry terminal or at an airport. For more information read our Guidance on how to travel safely.

What if I become unwell whilst travelling or away from home?

In the event you become unwell whilst travelling, you should return home to isolate, seeking medical help if necessary.

If you are away from home and become unwell, you should travel home safely to isolate, avoiding the use of public transport.

In the event that this is not possible to return home without using public transport, you should discuss this with the NHS Test and Protect team and you may be signposted to the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000.


Comments

If you wish to provide comments on this guidance please send them to transportguidance@transport.gov.scot.