illustration of a typical virus


Information updated 10 June 2020
Our analysis is based upon advice from government officials and with regard to information published in government technical documents, etc. as at 10 June 2020. It is believed, but not guaranteed, to be complete and accurate. For current information, follow the links in the sidebar. Particular reference has been made to the Scottish Government's "Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making - Scotland's route map through and out of the crisis", which provides an overview of how they plan to manage the return to whatever will become "the new normal". You can find a copy HERE.


In general, the Scottish Government's "route map through and out of the crisis" proposes five phases of relaxation, from Phase 0 - the starting point (lockdown), through Phase 1 (taking effect from 28 May 2020) to Phase 4 (the virus is no longer considered a significant threat to public health, but society remains safety conscious).

Even as we reach Phase 4, it's envisaged that social interaction between citizens should remain at a level where we remain vigilant to the threat of the virus becoming re-established. This means maintaining most of the current hygiene and distancing precautions even once restrictions have been removed.

Here is an analysis of how the proposals of each phase are likely to apply to our activities:

The following content is made up of extracts taken directly from official documents. It may have been paraphrased. Content in square brackets is the author’s commentary on the extracts.
  • Phase 1

    We are set to move to Phase 1 following the 28 May end-of-cycle review of the COVID-19 regulations, if the evidence supports that. In Phase 1, the virus would not be fully contained.

    Seeing family and friends: we are planning in this phase to change regulations to permit people to use public outdoor spaces for recreational purposes, for example to sit in a public space. We are also planning for one household to meet up with another household outdoors, in small numbers, including in gardens, but with physical distancing required.

    We expect no public gatherings except for meetings of two households and only outdoors and with physical distancing.

    Sport, culture and leisure activities: In this phase we are planning to allow unrestricted outdoors exercise adhering to distancing measures and non-contact outdoor activities in the local area – such as golf, hiking, canoeing, outdoor swimming, angling – consistent with the wider rules and guidance applicable to any activity in this phase.

    Gatherings and occasions: In this phase we are expecting no public gatherings except for meetings of two households and then only outdoors and with physical distancing.

    [Even though non-contact outdoor activities will be permitted, there is still an over-arching condition on being able to meet up with friends from only ONE other household. We will NOT be able to organise any group activities.]

  • Phase 2

    To progress to Phase 2, the virus must now be controlled, R must be consistently below 1 and the six WHO criteria described above must now be in place. Any signs of resurgence will be closely monitored as part of enhanced community surveillance but the risk of spreading the virus remains.

    Seeing family and friends: In Phase 2, you would be able to meet outside with larger groups including family and friends with physical distancing. You would also be able to meet people from another household indoors with physical distancing and hygiene measures.

    Sport, culture and leisure activities: In Phase 2, we are planning a reopening of playgrounds and sports courts with physical distancing, and a resumption of professional sport in line with public health advice.

    [We will now be permitted to meet up with larger groups of friends. We MAY be able to start organising group activities, but we will have to wait until more detailed public health advice is issued prior to the actual move to Phase 2.]

  • Phase 3

    Phase 3 will begin to feel closer to normal. The virus will have been suppressed and Test and Protect working across Scotland means we will understand where any additional local measures might be required. Communities will be fully engaged and participating in the transition back to a more open life and economy.

    Seeing family and friends: By this stage, you will be able to meet with people from more than one household indoors with physical distancing and hygiene measures.

    Subject to the evidence and progress of the epidemic we expect schools to open on August 11

    Sport, culture and leisure activities: Live events permitted with restricted numbers and physical distancing restrictions.

    Gatherings and occasions: People can meet in extended groups subject to physical distancing. Places of worship can open to extended groups subject to physical distancing and hygiene safeguards.

    [Although no date has been set for implementing Phase 3, there is a plan to open schools on 11 August. It's therefore logical to believe that community groups should also be allowed to restart their activities by that date. We will, of course, have to wait until more detailed advice is issued prior to resuming our activities.]

  • Phase 4

    In this, the final phase in our transition through the crisis, the virus remains suppressed to very low levels and is no longer considered a significant threat to public health, but society remains safety conscious.

    Seeing family and friends: We will expect to see further relaxation on restrictions on gatherings and the continued importance of hygiene and public health will be emphasised.

    Sport, culture and leisure activities: There would be a further relaxation of restrictions on live events in line with public health advice.

    Gatherings and occasions: Mass gatherings could resume in line with public health advice.

    [It seems reasonable to presume that, at this point, all normal group activities can resume.]

Training Programmes

It had been hoped that the Couch to 5k and 10k programmes may have taken place over the summer. However, it's now clear that restrictions will be continued, at least in part, until mid-August.

Couch to 5k: The autumn block is due to start on Saturday 17 October, which is potentially 9/10 weeks after the end of restrictions. We could plan for a summer block, starting on Monday 10th or 17th August, and graduating on 3rd or 10th October. If necessary, we could defer the start of the autumn block by one week.

10k: The summer block was due to run from 5 July until 30 August. There is normally no Autumn block of the 10k programme. We could, for this year only, plan a 10 block, starting on Sunday 9th or 16th August, and graduating on 4th or 11th October.

In both cases, the decision on whether to proceed with the additional blocks would have to be taken with consideration of advice from the Scottish Government and the sporting authorities.


 IMPORTANT: Most of the information on this page has been obtained from government, health service or other credible sources. The author of the page is not a medical professional, is not qualified to provide advice, and the content of the page does not constitute advice, whether medical or otherwise. Where an interpretation has been expressed, the author’s best efforts have been used, with the intent to be accurate and objective. The global position regarding coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease which can result from the virus (COVID-19) is fast-moving and official advice changes daily - often more frequently - as new information becomes available and judgements made. Therefore, any information and/or interpretation contained on this page may be out of date. You should therefore NOT rely upon any content within this page, and no liability is accepted for any errors, omissions or temporal lag in the content. You should use it as general guidance only, and as the basis of your own research into the current state of knowledge and advice as you follow up official announcements.