When can you stay overnight in Scotland? Date stays with family and friends will be allowed after lockdown

Families will soon be able to stay at each other’s homes as the Covid lockdown continues to ease in the country

When will you be able to stay overnight with your friends again? (Shutterstock)

Scotland is cautiously emerging from its long Covid lockdown under the government’s roadmap.

Nicola Sturgeon’s plan for easing restrictions includes dates for the gradual reopening of the economy and life returning to something more like normal.

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Major rule changes have already taken place over the last few weeks - from shops and hospitality reopening to changes to measures on travel and socialising.

However, people are still anxiously waiting for the go-ahead to be able to stay overnight with their family and friends.

So, when can you stay overnight in Scotland?

Here is everything you need to know.

What are the current rules for socialising?

Under the current level three restrictions, up to six people from two households can socialise indoors in a public place like a cafe or restaurant.

However, in-house socialising is not yet permitted unless you are joining your extended household or caring for a vulnerable person.

The rules are also slightly different outdoors.

From 16 April, six people from up to six households have been able to meet outside to socialise, and children under 12 are not included in these numbers.

And on 26 April, tourist accommodation, like hotels, B&Bs and self catering, was permitted to reopen with restrictions in place.

Before then, people were not able to stay overnight away from their own council area.

The rule change meant those from the same household were able to stay overnight somewhere other than their home anywhere in Scotland.

When will overnight stays with friends and family be allowed?

The earliest date that people will be able to stay overnight with their family and friends in Scotland is 17 May, when it is planned that the country moves down to Level 2.

That is the date that the Scottish Government plans to reintroduce indoor visits for four people from up to two households.

The guidance on the government’s website explicitly states that those numbers will be able to stay overnight in each other’s homes from then.

Meanwhile, six adults from three households will be permitted to meet in a cafe, pub or restaurant in Level 2, and eight adults from eight households will be allowed to meet outdoors.

Children under 12 don’t count towards the number of people or households meeting outside - but they are included indoors.

As always, whether further restrictions are eased on 17 May depends on whether the Covid situation in the country remains stable.

What will the rules on overnight stays be after that?

Following the mid-May date, larger indoor gatherings of up to six people from three households may be allowed from early June when Scotland moves into Level 1.

If that change goes ahead, those numbers will be able to stay overnight, according to the official government guidance.

That could also make way for bigger group domestic holidays.

Finally, a move to Level 0 is planned from late June if all goes well with the vaccinations programme and Covid cases remain low.

Under those socialising rules, up to eight adults from four households may be able to meet up inside a home and stay overnight.