Thursday 20th August saw the Scottish Government's three weekly review of the coronavirus regulations, with the government confirming Scotland will stay in Phase 3 of the route map. The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, also confirmed it may be the case that Phase 3 continues beyond the next review period - meaning this phase may last at least until the end of September.

However, there have also been a number of recent announcements that are of relevance to churches in relation to face coverings, Sunday schools, recovery meetings, advice services and youth work as restrictions continue to lift. This article should be read in conjunction with relevant Scottish Government guidance for each area as well as the Evangelical Alliance’s emerging from lockdown guidance and FAQs.

Face coverings

Face coverings are now mandatory in almost all indoor settings in Scotland including places of worship. This means that anyone who is over five years old should be wearing a face covering in a church building unless they have a health condition that would prevent them doing so. 


There is however an exemption for those involved in leading a service, meeting or worship for the duration of the time that they are doing so. This was an area in which the Evangelical Alliance made the case for an exemption and we are glad the Scottish Government have recognised this. 

Sunday Schools

There has been some recent confusion about the regulations for Sunday schools following an announcement made by the First Minister on non-school based youth work which implied Sunday schools were not allowed to meet. The Evangelical Alliance sought clarification on this point and we are pleased to confirm that where Sunday schools or other groups meet during a service (Act of Worship) this is allowed, provided the young people are included within the current limit of 50 attendees. Other indoor youth and children’s work remains restricted until 31st Aug (see below).

Recovery Meetings

Recovery meetings are now allowed face-to-face where there is no realistic alternative to a face-to-face meeting. These are categorised under community meetings and non-NHS health services and Scottish Government guidance is due imminently to outline the safe operation of these meetings. This also applies to counselling services. 

Advice services – 24th August

Advice services such as debt advice are able to resume in person from 24th August subject to following Scottish Government guidance.

Indoor Youth & Children’s Work – 31st August

Indoor youth and children’s work can resume from 31st August. Youthlink Scotland have published a variety of helpful guidance documents. This will be updated to include Scottish Government guidance on indoor youth and children’s activities when this is published in advance of 31st August. We are also planning through our Deep Impact Network to host a webinar at the end of August with Tim Frew, CEO of Youthlink Scotland, specifically aimed at youth and children’s workers who are trying to navigate this space. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Evangelical Alliance team by emailing: scotland@​eauk.​org