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Guidance for hill walkers and climbers in Scotland

**Please note that the information below is the Scottish Government guidance for people living and travelling to Scotland, and measures may differ between Scotland and the rest of the UK. **

Update 09/08/2021

  • Most legal restrictions will be lifted from Mon 9 August 2021. This includes legal restrictions on physical distancing and the size of social gatherings, including group sports and outdoor activities.
  • A number of mitigating measures will remain in place. These include: 
    • Face coverings: The current legal requirements to wear face coverings in some indoor settings will remain in place for some time to come.
    • Test & Protect: The Test and Protect system will remain in place to support contact tracing.
    • Local outbreak management: Scottish Government will retain the option of putting in place local measures and travel restrictions to manage local outbreaks.
    • Events: The process for approving large-scale events will remain in place, with approval required from local authorities for events of over 5,000 people outdoor or over 2,000 people indoors.
    • Guidance: Businesses will be offered guidance on areas such as ventilation and hygiene to reduce the risk of transmission. The public are still being advised to keep a safe distance, especially indoors, from people in other households and avoid crowded places to minimise risk.
  •  Vaccine certificates: An app is being developed to allow people to evidence their vaccine status.
  •  Self-isolation: Those with symptoms or testing positive will still be required to self-isolate. Close contacts over 17 who have been double vaccinated more than two weeks ago and with no symptoms will be able to get a PCR test and end self-isolation if negative. All under 17s will also be able to use this process (which will be encouraged but not required for under 5s).
  • Car sharing: The rules on car sharing have relaxed and to minimise the risk of transmission we would encourage you to check out the guidance on the  Transport Scotland website.
  • Bothies re open for “responsible use” from the 9th of August. Bothies are unregulated spaces and you should always make your own risk assessment before deciding to visit. Before visiting a bothy please read the Covid – 19 guidance on the Mountain Bothies Association webpage www.mountainbothies.org.uk or for further advice visit their Facebook group.


Guidance and downloads 

Guidance for hill walkers & climbers (09/08/21)

Guidance for affiliated clubs and club huts (09/08/21)

ABC Guidance for indoor climbing wall operators

The guidance for hill walkers, climbers and clubs in Scotland have been developed in collaboration with the Mountain Safety Group which includes Scottish Mountain Rescue, Mountain Training Scotland, Glenmore Lodge, and the Association for Mountaineering Instructors. The purpose of the guidance is to provide a framework for hill walkers and climbers within the current Scottish Government public health advice and phase of exit from lockdown, and to highlight additional considerations to be aware of in the presence of COVID-19 when taking part in these activities. 

We urge everyone heading out to enjoy the outdoors to be mindful of how their individual actions reflect on the whole outdoor community. The key will be for individuals to take a sensible approach to their activities, use your judgement to manage the risks, and to consider the social responsibility we all have to each other, to protecting our emergency services and to minimise the transmission of COVID-19.

This guidance applies to all visitors to Scotland as well as residents.

Visitor information

COVID guidance for other parts of the UK

  • Mountaineering in England and Wales: For full details of guidance for England and Wales, please visit the BMC website.
  • Northern Ireland: For details of COVID information in Northern Island click here.

Information for Coaches/Leaders

Mountain Training Scotland has also produced guidance for those involved in formally led mountain related activities. This document will also include indoor climbing activities and this is currently in the process of being written and reviewed.

Responsible outdoor access 

Before heading to the outdoors, please read the Scottish Outdoor Access Code

Reporting access issues

If you have any concerns or questions regarding access issue please contact access@mountaineering.scot

Mountaineering Scotland was formed 50 years ago to represent the interests of Scotland's hill walkers, climbers and mountaineers, and we continue that work today. With over 14,500 members and 160 affiliated clubs, we are open to anyone who loves to walk, climb or ski in Scotland's mountains.

Membership of Mountaineering Scotland offers excellent value and includes insurance for your mountaineering activities, member discounts and offers, access to great value mountain skills and climbing courses, events and competitions, quarterly Scottish Mountaineer magazine and more: Find out more about our member benefits here

In return you add your voice to our campaigns to protect Scotland's mountain landscapes, safeguard access rights, promote skills and safety,  and encourage people from all walks of life to enjoy the hills, mountains and climbing walls of Scotland responsibly.

Join Mountaineering Scotland