Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Hostels are Open - Everything you need to know



We are so pleased to be able to share the beautiful locations our hostellers call home with you again. It has been a long, frustrating time for the hostels and they couldn't be more pleased to be welcoming guests again.

Now is the time to escape from your sofa and have an adventure. Our hostels are in beautiful locations, run by locals who'd love to help you get the most out of your stay. We have to follow the government Covid-19 guidelines, hostels will be a slightly different experience than normal, but we can still offer a warm welcome and a comfortable bed for the night.  

The rules and dates in Scotland do vary slightly from the rest of the UK. Below is some information to help you navigate your way to your Scottish hostel adventure with ease!

Who can visit?

Leisure accommodation in Scotland is open to everyone from within the UK.  It's a great time to visit as things will be a bit quieter in some areas. Only essential travel from outside the UK at the moment, so we are missing our guests from abroad. 

What is open?

Accommodation, cafes, restaurants, pubs, shops, distilleries, visitor attractions, national parks, activity centres, the islands, the ferries, the lochs, all 282 munros, 1,000s of miles of cycle paths and footpaths... There is a huge open space out there waiting for you to explore!

Scotland's Levels... What do they mean?

Currently all of Scotland is Level 3 until 17th May.

Outside: 6 people from 6 households (6 in 6) (the exception is if your household / extended household consists of more than 6 people than you can socialise outside with these people, but you can’t meet up with another household as you are already at the limit)

Inside (private): Currently no private indoor socialising allowed.

Pubs/Caf├ęs/Restaurants: Outside – 6 in 6 until place closes, alcohol & food allowed. Inside (public) – 6 in 2 until 8pm, food only, no alcohol allowed.

Hostel Bedrooms - Is sharing allowed?

No, sorry, currently the rules state only one household allowed per bedroom (that’s for the whole of Scotland, across any accommodation provider, not just hostels).  Rules in other parts of the UK vary on this topic, but we have to follow the Scottish Government guidelines. 

BUT, from 17th May for hostels in Level 2 or Level 1 you can take an exclusive use booking for a maximum of 6 people from up to 3 households (under 12s do not count towards the number of people but do count towards the number of households).  As is the case for all tourist accommodation, each household should have a separate bedroom.

Separate households do not need to physically distance from each other elsewhere in the hostel if the hostel has been booked for exclusive use.

Can I use communal areas (kitchen, dining, lounge, drying room)?

This gets a bit more complicated and varies from hostel to hostel.  Different hostel layouts, rooms sizes and staffing affect their ability to open communal area, but we can reassure you, they're doing their best.

Physical distancing between households is still required if the hostel is not being used for exclusive use.  A maximum of 6 people from up to 3 households may socialise in a public place (a communal facility such as a kitchen, dining room, lounge, or reception area) subject to capacity and being able to manage the space safely.

Please check with individual hostels. 


When will things change?

Dates may vary but the current list is as follows:

17th May - hopefully all of Scotland will move to Level 2.  Maximum 6 people from up to 3 households may socialise indoors in a public or private place. Indoor hospitality with alcohol being served until 10.30pm. (at the time of writing, the Moray council area was expected to remain in Level 3).

Early June, all of Scotland will move to Level 1. Maximum 8 people from up to 3 households may socialise indoors in a public place.  Maximum 6 people from up to 3 households may socialise in a private dwelling.

Late June, all of Scotland will move to Level 0.  Maximum 10 people from up to 4 households may socialise indoors in a public place.  Maximum 8 people from up to 4 households may socialise in a private dwelling.


Thanks to Ballater Hostel, in the Cairngorms National Park, for their help putting this blog together. 


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