Covid-19 update. Issued 14/07/2021

18th Jully 2021

Guidance for hill walkers and climbers in Scotland

**Please note that the information below is the Scottish Government guidance and measures may differ between Scotland and the rest of the UK. **

Update 14/7/2021

  • Areas of Scotland not already at level 0 will move to level 0 on Monday 19 July.
  • There are 5 COVID-19 Protection Levels (0-4). The rules you have to follow depend on the level for your council area. Some areas remain at level 2, while most of mainland Scotland is level 1 and some islands are level 0. Find out which level your area is in on the Scottish Government website.
  • To help protect island communities, anyone travelling to one of the Scottish Islands is asked to take two lateral flow Covid tests before travelling (the last one within 24 hrs of travelling) - more details on how to get tests here.
  • Indoor climbing walls – walls are permitted to open at levels 0, 1, 2 & 3 but not level 4. Walls follow guidance from the ABC, but each wall will have its own rules regarding groups' activities, use of face coverings etc depending on size and layout. For details of which climbing walls are open visit the ClimbScotland website.


Information for hill walkers and climbers at levels 0-3

Please scroll down for our full guidance documents for hill walkers and climbers, and clubs for more information:

Level 0

  • Travel for outdoor recreation and exercise: you can travel anywhere in Scotland in Levels 0, 1 or 2 but must not enter a Level 3 or 4 area unless for a permitted reason.
  • Informal outdoor exercise/recreation: You can meet socially for outdoor recreation/exercise in groups of up to 15 people from 15 households. Under 12s do not count towards the total number of people or households meeting outside and from 19 July, no longer count towards the household numbers indoors.
  • Organised sport/exercise: Clubs and groups can hold organised activities/meets (with COVID officer and measures in place) for up to 500 people (adults and children but excluding the leader(s)) from any number of households, however we would still advise limiting groups to smaller sizes to make them easier to manage. From 19 July, you will not need to physically distance outside within your social grouping of up to 15 people at level 0, but you do need to continue to maintain at least 1 metre from all others outside.

Level 1

  • Travel for outdoor recreation and exercise: You can travel anywhere in Scotland in Levels 0, 1 or 2 but must not enter a Level 3 or 4 area from a level 0, 1 or 2 area unless for a permitted reason (you may travel through a level 3 area if it is on your route).
  • Informal outdoor exercise/recreation: Up to 12 people from 12 households outdoors can meet outdoors. Under 12s do not count towards the total number of people or households meeting outside but do count towards the number of households indoors. Two metre physical distancing should be maintained between members of different households.
  • Organised sport/exercise: In level 0, 1, and 2 areas, clubs and groups can hold organised activities/meets for up to 100 people (adults and children but excluding the leader(s)) from any number of households, however we would still advise keeping groups smaller to make them easier to manage.

Level 2

  • Travel for outdoor recreation and exercise: You can travel anywhere in Scotland in Levels 0, 1 or 2 but must not enter a Level 3 or 4 area from a level 0, 1 or 2 area unless for a permitted reason.  (you may travel through a level 3 area if it is on your route)
  • Informal outdoor exercise/recreation: Up to 8 people from 8 households can meet outdoors. Under 12s do not count towards the total number of people or households meeting outside but do count towards the number of households indoors. Two metre physical distancing should be maintained between members of different households.
  • Organised sport/exercise: In level 0, 1, and 2areas, clubs and groups can hold organised activities/meets for up to 50 people (adults and children but excluding the leader(s)) from any number of households, however we would still advise keeping groups smaller to make them easier to manage.

Level 3

  • Travel for outdoor recreation and exercise:  Over 12's - The regulations let you travel to a place up to 5 miles beyond the boundary of a Level 3 area to reach a place to meet up or start and finish your exercise. The activity must be on your own, with members of your own household (including an extended household “bubble”), or in groups of no more than 6 people from 6 households, plus any children under 12.  It must not involve an overnight stay. You must not travel to places in Level 0, 1, or 2 areas from a Level 3 or 4 area, except for essential purposes. Under 12's may travel outside their local authority area for sport/exercise.
  • Informal outdoor exercise/recreation – Up to 6 people from 6 households can meet outdoors for information sport, recreation or exercise. This applies to anyone over 12. Under 12s do not count towards the total number of people or households meeting outside. Two metre physical distancing should be maintained between members of different households.
  • Organised sport/exercise – At level 3, groups of up to 30 people may meet (with COVID officer and other measures, physical distancing etc) for organised outdoor sport and exercise (ie formal club meets), which can take place anywhere in Scotland (in another level 3 area) – see our guidance for clubs and groups for more information. This is a maximum number that can take part, and smaller group sizes are preferable and more manageable.

Club huts

Club huts allowed to open following relevant sector guidance and rules on meeting other households indoors. See the guidance for clubs for more information.

Working with the BMC Huts Group and the BMC Clubs’ Committee plus other specialists the following guidance has been produced for hut operators and hut users together with an update in relation to the 72hr quarantine period:

For hut operators in Scotland, from 19 July:

In self-catered or other unregulated (unstaffed) accommodation, in-house socialising rules apply (see below) and a bedroom should be occupied by members of only one household (or extended household).

  • Level 0: A maximum of 8 people from up to 4 households. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people  or households permitted to meet.
  • Level 1: A maximum of 6 people from up to 3 households. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people permitted to meet.
  • Level 2: A maximum of 6 people from up to 3 households. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people permitted to meet.
  • Level 3: Single households only permitted.

Additional information

  • Car sharing – You should not share a vehicle with anyone from another household, unless you absolutely have to. For further information visit the Transport Scotland website.
  • Camping – Wild camping is permissible - please keep to the guidelines for travel and meeting with others outdoors for the area you live in. If you are considering wild camping please do it responsibly and with consideration for others. Avoid busy areas, follow the current travel guidance and rules on meeting others outdoors, and always keep to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. If you are planning to camp at a formal camp site we would advise contacting them in advance to check they are open and that pitches are available.
  • Bothies remain closed - for more information and further updates visit the Mountain Bothies Association webpage www.mountainbothies.org.uk or Facebook group.


Please read our full guidance for hill walkers, climbers and mountaineers below for full details.

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