Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice for Travellers to Midlothian and the Scottish Borders

by Scotland Starts Here, 19th March 2020
Gladhouse Reservoir | Penicuik.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice for Travellers to Midlothian and the Scottish Borders

Last updated: Friday, 3 July 2020

Please check below for official Scottish and UK guidance on COVID-19 (coronavirus) as well as resources for travelling safely within Midlothian and the Scottish Borders. The health and safety of visitors and residents is of paramount importance and we want to share ongoing advice.


Key Information

  • The latest information on COVID-19 can be found on the Scottish Government website 
  • Check your plans before you travel, as events and activities may have been postponed or cancelled
  • Check directly with venues, businesses and attractions for up to date information on opening times, closures and restrictions
  • Travellers already in the UK who need medical advice can use the 111 online service to get further information

Stay Safe

  • Practice social distancing: Keep a 2 metre distance from anyone outside of your household.
  • Wash your hands frequently. 
  • Follow guidance from the government and individual businesses. This includes wearing a face mask or face covering on public transport or when asked to in places such as shops or other enclosed spaces.

Will coronavirus impact my travels to Midlothian and the Scottish Borders? 

Yes. On the 23rd of March, UK wide lockdown measures were announced. The restrictions will be relaxed according to a phased plan, set out by the Scottish Government. The timings of each phase are not confirmed, so always check the Scottish Government updates. The route map is dynamic, so details will change and evolve with the situation. Check the current details below:

Phase 2 

You can leave your home for the following purposes:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • Outdoors exercise including running, walking, or cycling alone or with members of your household. Outdoor activities including fishing, archery, horse riding, golf, tennis and water sports are also permitted
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home
  • Meet up with up to two other households, with no more than eight people in total. Physical distancing still applies
  • Travel for exercise and to enjoy the outdoors – the 5 mile distance restriction has been lifted
  • Visit small retail shops and outdoor markets. Physical distancing and restrictions still apply
  • Visit zoos, gardens, parks and nature reserves in your area, subject to reopening
  • Book self-catering accommodation or visit second homes (without shared facilities)

From Monday, 6th of July:

  • Enjoy outdoor hospitality offers, such as beer gardens

From Friday, 10th of July:

  • Face coverings are mandatory in retail shops
  • Meet indoors with up to two other households
  • Meet in extended groups outdoors, physical distancing still applies

From Monday, 13th of July:

  • Children and young people can take part in outdoor and contact sports 

From Wednesday, 15th of July:

  • Hospitality businesses, including hotels, restaurants and pubs can reopen, subject to hygiene and safety measures
  • Museums, galleries, libraries and visitor attractions can reopen, subject to hygiene and safety measures

Stay safe and adhere to guidelines. Remember the UK government has advised against unnecessary travel. Scotland’s First Minister has issued additional guidance not to travel to or around Scotland until restrictions are eased further. The public should reduce social contacts and practice social distancing.

As a result, attractions, museums and other businesses in Midlothian and the Scottish Borders have temporarily closed. Events have been cancelled or postponed and further changes may follow. Most businesses within the hospitality sector, such as hotels, restaurants, bars and pubs, are changing their offer and opening times in accordance with official guidance on keeping the public safe. Please check directly with businesses for the latest information and consider rebooking your trip if necessary. Midlothian and the Borders would very much look forward to welcoming you in the future.

Please also check for any disruptions or alterations to public transport networks in the Lothians and the Scottish Borders. Further information is available from ScotRail, Lothian Buses and Borders Buses.

Always make sure you stay up to date with the latest official government advice.


Further Information

  • We must all do our part in preventing the transmission of COVID-19, and it is crucial to follow guidance on preventative measures. Visit the NHS website for information on how to keep yourself and others safe, as well as frequently asked questions. 
  • Up to date advice for tourism businesses is available through the Scottish Tourism Association (STA) and VisitScotland. MBTAG are also offering support to businesses in Midlothian and the Scottish Borders.
  • Visit the official UK government website for additional up to date information on safety measures, support for businesses and advice for travellers.