The Scottish Government announced today that they are planning to remove the 5 mile limit on leisure travel on the 3rd July. This means that day trips to the hills will be possible for all at last.
Self-catering accommodation which has its own private facilities can also reopen from that date.
The indicative dates announced today include:
Travel distance restriction relaxed – 3 July
Self-catering accommodation and second homes (without shared facilities) permitted – 3 July
Outdoor hospitality (subject to physical distancing rules and public health advice) – 6 July
People can meet in extended groups outdoors (with physical distancing) – 10 July
Households can meet indoors with up to a maximum of two other households (with physical distancing) – 10 July
Non-essential shops inside shopping centres can re-open (following guidance and with physical distancing) – 13 July
All holiday accommodation permitted (following relevant guidance) – 15 July
Indoor hospitality (subject to physical distancing rules and public health advice) – 15 July
Hairdressers and barbers – with enhanced hygiene measures – 15 July
Museums, galleries, cinemas, monuments, libraries – with physical distancing and other measures (e.g. ticketing in advance) – 15 July
All childcare providers can open subject to individual provider arrangements – 15 July
There is only just over a month before schools return in Scotland from 11th August. We’re expecting huge demand for bookings for self-catering cottages in the shorter term, and so would advise booking early – though be sure to ask when booking what their policy is if the situation changes and the booking cannot go ahead.
Many hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites are all likely to be operating with much reduced capacity due to distancing rules and new procedures, so again we would emphasise that advance bookings for any accommodation needed is strongly recommended.
Note also for trips involving ferries, capacity is likely to be very much reduced. You would need to check with the ferry operator whether they would have space for you to travel.
Walkhighlands features over 2,000 holiday cottages, hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels and campsites.
Stuart Younie, CEO of Mountaineering Scotland, said: “Today’s announcement, and the plans to bring forward a relaxation in travel for leisure is a positive step and one that will be welcomed by our members and outdoor enthusiasts across Scotland.
“We hope that more people will now be able to enjoy a return to the hills and mountains but continue to play their part and stay safe as they have done over the last few months.”
The organisation has reminded people that this is not yet a return to normal, and that distancing and hygiene guidelines must still be observed.
“We all need to remain COVID aware. Think where you are going and consider avoiding places you know are likely to be busy and be sensitive to the concerns of rural communities. The sacrifices we have all been making have helped us get this far in a return to the hills, but the virus is still out there so we would encourage anyone heading to the hills to do so with this in mind and to act responsibly.”