One year of COVID-19 in Scotland – key milestones

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It is one year since the first positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Scotland. This blog looks at the key milestones of the last 12 months.

For a more detailed timeline please see our Timeline of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland which includes all major developments, as well as links to relevant policies and guidance.

Finally, please check out our Coronavirus (COVID-19) hub for related content and our Coronavirus (COVID-19) data blog for the latest statistics.

01 March 2020
First positive case of COVID-19 confirmed in Scotland.
13 March 2020
First confirmed death of a COVID-19 patient in Scotland.
13 March 2020
People with symptoms of COVID-19 told to stay at home for seven days.
16 March 2020
Cancellation of all mass indoor and outdoor events of 500 people or more.
20 March 2020
All schools and nurseries closed by the end of this week.
24 March 2020
Start of ‘lockdown’ in Scotland.
06 May 2020
National Records of Scotland records the first weekly reduction of registered deaths (for the week ending 3 May) since March 2020.
11 May 2020
People told they can go outside more than once a day to exercise. However, people should stay local and either go alone or with members of their household.
18 May 2020
UK Government announces an update to Coronavirus symptoms to include anosmia or ‘the loss of or a change in your normal sense of smell’.
18 May 2020
Testing made available to everyone who is symptomatic over the age of five.
21 May 2020
Scottish Government publishes a COVID-19 ‘Route Map’ to take Scotland through and out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
28 May 2020
NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect scheme rolled out across Scotland.
29 May 2020
Move to Phase 1 of the route map out of lockdown.
19 June 2020
Move to Phase 2 of the route map out of lockdown.
22 June 2020
Face coverings become mandatory on public transport.
02 July 2020
Due to a spike in cases in Dumfries & Galloway, the Scottish Government implements the first localised delay in the relaxation of restrictions. Other areas would be impacted in a similar way as the pandemic continued.
10 July 2020
Face coverings become mandatory in shops.
10 July 2020
Move to Phase 3 of the route map out of lockdown.
30 July 2020
Advice on self-isolation changed from 7 to 10 days.
03 August 2020
Eat Out to Help Out Scheme introduced by UK Government.
11 August 2020
Pupils return to Scotland’s schools.
25 August 2020
Face coverings introduced in schools and dedicated school transport.
10 September 2020
Scottish Government’s Protect Scotland app launches, complementing NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system.
14 September 2020
Indoor and outdoor gatherings are limited to six people from two households.
23 September 2020
Ban on gatherings in homes.
25 September 2020
10pm curfew introduced in hospitality sector.
23 October 2020
Scotland’s Strategic Framework – a five-level tiered framework – is published by the Scottish Government.
29 October 2020
Face covering exemption cards introduced.
20 November 2020
New travel regulations prevent people who live in a Level 3 or Level 4 area from travelling outside their local authority except for an essential purpose. Travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK also becomes illegal except for essential purposes.
24 November 2020
Scottish Government announce details of a UK-wide “limited relaxation” of restrictions over the Christmas period.
02 December 2020
UK medicines regulator authorises first COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
02 December 2020
First Community Asymptomatic Test site opens in Scotland.
08 December 2020
The first vaccinations against COVID-19 are given in Scotland to those who will be carrying out the vaccination programme.
14 December 2020
The self-isolation period for positive contacts and overseas arrivals is reduced from 14 days to 10 days.
14 December 2020
First vaccinations in care homes in Scotland.
19 December 2020
Easing of restrictions around Christmas is limited to Christmas Day only.
30 December 2020
The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is approved for use in the UK.
05 January 2021
Mainland Scotland goes into lockdown.
18 January 2021
All travel corridors are suspended.
18 January 2021
Scotland introduces pre-departure testing for international travellers.
25 January 2021
Health boards begin scheduling appointments for COVID-19 vaccination for people aged 70-79.
10 February 2021
The number of first dose vaccinations in Scotland reaches the 1 million milestone.
18 February 2021
Testing is expanded to include anyone who is identified as a close contact of somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19.
22 February 2021
Children in early learning and childcare, and primaries 1 to 3, return full-time to classrooms.
22 February 2021
People with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers begin to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.
23 February 2021
Scottish Government publish the updated Strategic Framework, setting out the broad order of priority for re-opening.
25 February 2021
More than 1.5 million people in Scotland (a third of those eligible) have received first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Alexandra Gherghiniş, Alisdair Grahame and Emma Robinson, SPICe.