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COVID-19 Recovery Phases For NC500 & The Scottish Highlands

While travelling On Scotland's North Coast 500 Always Respect The New Rules & Guidelines - Stay Safe See You Soon. 

north coast 500 road closed covid 19

Although the North Coast 500 which is also now known Scotlands Route 66 has been closed the last few months, we have always known that this amazing coastal route around the highlands of Scotland will soon reopen with more incredible adventures for visitors and local business to return to a new normal, the mountains and lochs are still as beautiful as before if anything this will bring a more positive attitude for locals and tourists alike. You can find some information below on what will open and at what stage, So if you are planning a trip within Scotland? It has moved a step closer.

 

All the information you need on what each phase looks like and at what stage you'll be able to explore The North Coast 500 Tourist Route.

Rules & Guidelines You Should be Aware Of if you Are Planning  On Visiting The Scottish Highland's As of 18 June 2020

Things You Should Remember while Visting The NC500:

  • You must stay 2 metres away from anyone outside of your household at all times.
  • Timings of each phase are not confirmed - details will continue to be given daily by the Scottish Government at their briefings.
  • Some measures within a phase may be introduced at different times.
  • The measures of previous phases continue to apply, unless said differently.
  • If cases begin to rise again, restrictions may need to be reintroduced, and we may need to go back through the phases.
  • This route map is a dynamic, living plan so could change on a week to week basis as advice and evidence become available.

Phase One is now complete.

Things to remember for this phase:

  • Maintain physical distancing at all times, indoors and outdoors.
  • Travel by walk, wheel and cycle where possible.
  • If you go somewhere outdoors and it is too crowded to remain at a distance of 2 metres, please consider leaving and finding somewhere else to go.

You can do the following while on the route:

  • Use public outdoor spaces for recreational purposes such as sitting to enjoy the sun.
  • Meet up with one other household outdoors at a time, with no more than a maximum of 8 people in a group, and no more than one household per day. Don't share food & drink, but bring your own for your household if enjoying a picnic or a barbecue.
  • Travel short distances (around 5 miles) for enjoying the outdoors and exercise.
  • Visit drive-through food outlets.
  • Visit garden centres and plant nurseries.
  • Enjoy unlimited outdoor exercise.
  • Get back to angling, archery, athletics including running and jogging, croquet, cycling, horse riding, golf, lawn bowls, outdoor tennis, walking and watersports.

Phase Two - As Of Friday 19 June.

Remember for this phase you must still:

  • Maintain physical distancing at all times, indoors and outdoors of 2 metres.
  • Travel by walk, wheel and cycle where possible and avoid travelling at peak times as far as possible. There will still be limited services of public transport and very limited capacity.
  • There may be differences from area to area in transport recommendations depending on circumstances.
  • If you go somewhere outdoors and it is too crowded to remain at a distance of 2 metres, please consider leaving and finding somewhere else to go.
  • All visitor facilities and services around the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park will remain closed until further notice including car parks, public toilets, visitor centres, the Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway on Loch Lomond, and campsites.
  • All Forestry and Land Scotland facilities remain closed including car parks, visitor centres, cafes, toilets, built facilities and mountain bike trails.
  • Helix Park in Falkirk will not be open until further notice.
  • Most car parks and all toilets are closed in the Cairngorms National Park, and advice is for people living locally to check with relevant estates before they travel.

As Of Friday 19 June, you can:

  • Continue to use public outdoor spaces for recreational purposes such as sitting to enjoy the sun.
  • Meet up with two other households outdoors at a time, with no more than a maximum of 8 people in a group, and no more than two households per day. Don't share food & drink, but bring your own for your household if enjoying a picnic or a barbecue. You are allowed to use indoor bathroom facilities of another household during this outdoor meeting.
  • Continue to travel short distances (around 5 miles) for enjoying the outdoors and exercise.

In addition to the above, from Monday 22 June, you can/should:

  • Wear a mask when using public transport.
  • Places of worship will reopen for individual prayer or contemplation.
  • Take part in professional sport.

In addition to the above, from Monday 29 June, you can:

  • Visit small retail shops, accessible from the street.
  • Visit outdoor markets in limited numbers.
  • Enjoy a game of sport on a court.
  • Take the kids to a playground.
  • Hold a wedding or civil ceremony outdoors with a limited number of attendees.
  • Visit a zoo or garden attraction within your local area.

Phase Three:

  • Maintain physical distancing at all times, indoors and outdoors.
  • Travelling at peak times is discouraged as far as possible.
  • There may be differences from area to area in arrangements depending on circumstances.

You can do the following now:

  • Meet up with people from more than one household indoors.
  • Travel beyond your local area for enjoying the outdoors, day trips and exercise.
  • Use full services of public transport - but there will be limited capacity.
  • Visit larger retail shops.
  • Enjoy refreshments in pubs and restaurants both indoors and outdoors.
  • Visit museums, galleries, cinema and libraries.
  • Work out at the gym.
  • Possibly stay overnight at hotels, B&Bs and holiday homes.
  • Attend live events in limited numbers.
  • Hold a wedding or civil ceremony with attendees outside of the close family.
  • Visit a place of worship.

Phase Four:

This will be the final phase and will only be introduced when the virus has ceased to be a significant issue in Scotland- this might be because of an effective vaccine, treatment or significant drop in transmission. So until such times, we are all advised to follow the guidelines issued by the Scottish government and hope that one day we can all get the craic one again on the North Coast 500 Scotland's Route66.

You can now do the following :

  • Enjoy gatherings with others with relaxed restrictions.
  • Use full services of public transport.
  • Go shopping or out for refreshments without restriction.
  • Enjoy more live events with relaxed restrictions.
  • Hold a wedding or civil ceremony without restrictions.

Always Remember:

  • You should always try and support the local businesses along the NC500 by shopping local. Without your continued support, some local businesses may not survive this event!

North Coast 500 Roadtrip News

  • North Coast 500 Racetrack

    Police have called the North Coast 500 a racetrack.

    Norther Constabulary have issued a warning to driver's on the NC500  ahead of the 2020 summer rush by tourists to drive the North Coast 500. Last year 70 drivers received warnings and 40 were dealt with by way of fixed penalties at the scene or will be reported to the procurator fiscal for prosecution. 

    Northern Constabulary said offences included dangerous driving and speeding, other motorists were also detected on the route driving carelessly, failing to wear a seatbelt & using a mobile phone while driving. The North Coast 500 is attracting more and more tourists every year, most of these drivers are not from the local area and are not used to driving on the left or on single track roads.

     
  • NC500 Day Trips

    North Coast 500 Day Trips

    The North Coast 500 is Scotland's answer to Route 66 and although the suggested route is around 516 miles long, you dont have to complete the route in one go, we have listed several trips which are quite easily completed in a day using the The Highland's capital city of Inverness as your base.

    Try one of the following amazing routes to get you going on the North Coast 500.

    • Inverness To Ullapool
    • Inverness To Applecross
    • Inverness To Plockton
    Read more ...  
  • Get Your Fish & Chips On Route 66

    Get Your Fish & Chips On Scotland's Route 66

    Best Fish and chips shops on the North Coast 500 fish & chips has long-been an excellent meal choice for those that just want a quick and tasty take-away meal. On the NC500 in the Scottish Highland's, we are lucky enough to have several good quality fish and chip shops all along the highland's cooastal route also known as Scotlands route66, most of them use award-winning local fish and potatoes, but it is the location that makes them taste so good, these chippies that keep the customers coming back for more. We have created a dirictory of the best chippies on Scotland's ultimate roadtrip for you to try.

    Read more ...
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