What are the travel rules for Scotland compared to the rest of the UK during lockdown?


With the loosening of lockdowns in parts of the UK, there is still some confusion over the rules for travel.

This week Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to return to work as part of a plan to gradually lift restrictions in England.

However, Nicola Sturgeon doubled her “stay home” message as she extended the lockout for three weeks in Scotland.

The four nations now all operate under different rules as the lock enters its ninth week.

Scotland has different travel rules than the rest of the UK

Since those south of the border have more freedom to travel, there is some uncertainty about the rules.

So what are the travel rules in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales?


The Scots should still drive a car only for essential reasons.

These include:

  • Shopping for basic necessities like food or medicine. People should use delivery services where they can
  • To exercise, alone or with people you live with
  • For a medical need, such as a doctor or a hospital visit, or to care for vulnerable people
  • To go to work, but only if it cannot be done at home

Sturgeon says people traveling to Scotland for other than essential purposes are “potentially in breach of the law”

Sturgeon said that people traveling to Scotland for purposes other than essential are “potentially in breach of the law”.

She said: “If you are in Scotland, then Scottish law applies – and the law says that at this time you can only leave your home for essential reasons”

Scottish people are now allowed to exercise more than once a day after the sturgeon has relaxed the rules.

The Daily Record launched our NHS Heroes campaign to thank the remarkable NHS staff who are on the front lines of this coronavirus emergency.

These incredible people put our health above their own and we invite the public to pledge their support by placing a heart on their UK location.

Please join us in showing our gratitude to these people as we go through this difficult time.

NHS heroes logo.png

To pledge your support, you just need to:

* Go to http://www.thanksamillionnhs.co.uk/

* Add your postal code to put a heart on the map and show your support for the NHS heroes

* Share the page to encourage others to show their support

Scottish police have advised people to use gardens, parks and spaces near their homes to avoid unnecessary travel.

However, Sturgeon stressed that “it is not acceptable to go to Scotland to places of beauty to visit places and for leisure”.

The Scots have also been warned not to meet their friends and family in parks, beaches, picnics or sunbathing.

Read more

Coronavirus in Scotland


This week, Johnson eased lockdowns in England, allowing people more freedom to travel.

He said people would return to work if homework is possible but to avoid using public transportation.

In England, people can enjoy unlimited outdoor exercise and play sports with members of their household.

Sunbathing or picnics are also allowed with household members as long as social distancing measures are respected.

Driving to other destinations for day trips or exercise is now allowed.

however, in England people are told not to travel to Scotland, even if they are allowed to drive for leisure and to stay outside as long as they like.

New UK government guidelines on facilitation of foreclosure in England warn people not to visit Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland as decentralized governments still stick to the advice “stay on House”.

British motorists may even face a “backtrack” at the border.

North Ireland

Residents of Northern Ireland are allowed to drive for daily exercise, provided they have a reasonable excuse.

This could include driving to a park or opening safely to walk or run.

Stormont’s ministers still urge the public to stay at home.

The current lockdown measures remain in place until May 28, but from now on, some aspects of the first stage of a phased plan will begin.


Welsh government guidelines state that you should not drive for exercise unless it is absolutely necessary.

People are told to exercise “as close to home as possible”.

Wales needs to start taking its ‘first cautious steps’ to ease its coronavirus lockdown.

Prime Minister Mark Drakeford today unveiled a plan to ease restrictions on daily life.

For Scottish coronavirus updates, follow our live blog.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here