Updates to Scotland’s tiered area system

From 2 November, Scotland’s new five-tiered system is in action. Here’s what it means for you and your hair business

five-tiered system in Scotland


Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced the country’s phased exit from lockdown. Hair and beauty businesses are set to return to the regional Scotland tiered system from 26 April. For more information click here.


The Covid-19 lockdown in Scotland has been extended until at least the middle of February 2021. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told MSPs that while transmission of the virus seems to be in decline, levels are still too high to ease restrictions.

The islands of Barra and Vatersay are to be moved into Level 4 restrictions as well, due to a “significant” outbreak.


First Minister for Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced that the entire nation will enter Level 4 coronavirus restrictions from midnight on Boxing Day (00:01 on December 26). These measures will see the closure of close contact services – including hairdressing – for three weeks.


The 11 Scottish council areas currently under level 4 restrictions have moved to level 3 as of today, Friday 11 December 2020.

For close contact services allowed to operate under level 3, the restrictions lifted at 6am this morning.

In level 3:

  • Salons and barbershops can open
  • Mobile hairdressing and barbering can operate
  • Close contact services delivered from a salon, shop or other static site, such as a home treatment room, can operate.
  • All other types of mobile close contact services are not permitted

The NHBF are currently waiting for information from the Scottish government on further financial support and will provide an update when this is announced.

UPDATE – 17 November 2020

11 areas of Scotland will be moving to Level 4 restrictions from Friday 20 November, which involves closure of hair salons.

The areas affected are: City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.

These measures will be in place from 6pm on Friday 20 November for three weeks, due to be lifted on 11 December.

New travel restrictions are also coming into force from Friday. People living in Level Three or Four must not travel outside their own council areas, except for certain essential exemptions. Those living elsewhere in Scotland must not travel into Level Three/Four areas as well.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs that “Level Four is intended to be short and sharp. In this situation, it is specifically intended to have an impact in advance of Christmas and the most challenging winter period.”

Original feature – 2 November 2020

Similar to England’s recent tiered system adoption, Scotland will be monitoring cases on a local level with different restrictions and support on offer depending on the tier the area falls under.

The five tiers are:

Level 0: Closest to normality – eight people from three households can meet indoors, most businesses open. No area is currently at this level.

Level 1: Six people from two households can meet indoors at this level, but that will not be permitted right now. Up to six people from two households can meet outdoors or at a pub or restaurant. Hospitality has a 22:30 GMT curfew.

Level 2: No gatherings inside people’s homes. Up to six people from two households can meet outdoors or at a pub or restaurant. Most hospitality venues can open, but with limits on alcohol being sold.

Level 3: No indoor gatherings at home. Pubs and restaurants can open until 18:00 but alcohol cannot be served. Leisure and entertainment venues are closed. Non-essential travel in or out of the area advised against.

Level 4: Closest to full lockdown. Non-essential shops closed – but six people from up to two households can still meet outdoors.

Each of the country’s 32 local authorities has initially been graded between levels 1 and 3, with more than half placed at level 3. Level 4 would involve the closure of all hair and beauty businesses, salon-based or mobile.

To avoid confusion around local levels and restrictions, a postcode tracker has been launched so that people can check their local requirements.

From today, companies forced to close by the restrictions will be eligible for grants every four weeks, until the restrictions are lifted.

Based on rateable values, grants awarded will be either £2,000 or £3,000. Businesses which remain open, but see an impact on their business due to restrictions, will be eligible for grants worth £1,400 or £2,100, again based on rateable value. This support is additional to the furlough scheme from 1 November – Scotland is matching the support offered to businesses in England.

Find all of our latest Covid-19 updates here

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