Covid-19 advice and support

Scottish Sub Aqua Club Covid guidance update 15th April 2021

Following the First  Ministers announcement on Tuesday, Sport Scotland has updated the Return to Sport & Physical activity guidance. The full document can be found here.

However, relevant points for divers are as follows

  • Friday 16 April
    • Travel: From Friday, some travel restrictions will be relaxed to allow travel across Scotland for the purposes of meeting outdoors with friends and family. This will allow travel for informal physical activity, but not for organised sport. Travel restrictions for wider purposes - including organised sport, leisure, shopping, visiting hospitality premises or staying in tourist accommodation - will remain until 26 April, as originally planned, when all travel restrictions within Scotland will be lifted.
    • Outdoor gatherings: Up to 6 adults from 6 households can meet outside. The exemption for groups of up to 15 adults taking part in organised outdoor sport remains.

 The accelerated easing of travel restrictions on Friday 16 April is aimed at improving the mental health of the nation by encouraging more people to see small groups of family and friends in an informal outdoor setting. Travel for organised sport will still be able to resume as originally planned on Monday 26 April. Please note this is consistent with Scottish Government's phased approach to the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Definition of organised Sport  ( see page 7 , para 12  and 13. of the Return to Sport and Physical activity guidance.)

‘Organised sporting or physical activity’ refers to activities which are undertaken in a structured and managed way following specific rules and guidance of relevant SGBs, local authorities or businesses who in turn have fully applied related Scottish Government and sportscotland guidance. All organised activity should be overseen by a Covid Officer with documented risk assessments undertaken and mitigating actions put in place to ensure the health, safety and welfare of participants, coaches and officials.

Contact sport or activity is defined as “a sport or activity in which the participants necessarily come into bodily contact or as a matter of course encroach within 2m of one another” such as Judo, Netball and Basketball.

You can read the whole of the First Minister’s statement here

Please also be advised that if you have had Covid you should submit a new medical declaration for review before diving.


Please follow the link below for the latest advice from the Divers Alert Network in regards to Diving following a Jab of the Covid - 19 Vaccination



The Latest Covid update from Sports Scotland - 21/03/2021

2021.03.21 ScotSAC Covid update .docx


Scottish Government Latest - 24/02/2021

Scottish Government latest
Following the Scottish Government announcement yesterday, here is a summary of the relevant points courtesy of Sport Scotland.

 15 March
o Education: Return of P4-7 pupils to schools full-time. More but not all secondary pupils returning to school at least part-time. (Full details to be confirmed next week) o Sport: Non-contact outdoor group sport permitted for 12 to 17 year olds(this is already permitted for under 12s). o Gatherings: Outdoor meetings of 4 people from 2 households permitted.

 5 April
o Stay at home: Stay at home requirement removed.
o Education: Return to full-time in person education for all remaining school pupils. o Gatherings: Outdoor meetings of 6 people from 2 households permitted.
o Economy: More retail businesses being classified as essential. Click-and-collect permitted for non-essential retail.

 26 April
o Strategic (Levels) Framework: Return to a levels system, which includes regional variation based on data. Further detail will be published in mid-March.
o Level 3: Initially the intention is that mainland Scotland will move to level 3. The islands currently at level 3 may drop to level 2, based on data. o Sport: The levels system will support the phased re-opening of sport. The detail of what activity will be permitted in each level will be confirmed in mid-March.

It is important to note that the timings are indicative and any changes will be driven by the data. It should also be noted that the dates set-out by UK Government on 22nd February do not apply to Scotland.
You can also find information on the BSAC website here.
Please bear in mind that social distancing, hand washing/ sanitising, cleaning hard surfaces rules still apply.
As usual you can find the whole of the First Ministers statement here.



Following the announcements by the government on 4th January Sport Scotland have updated thier guidance for sport.

The document "Return to Sport and Physical Activity" at this link should be read in conjunction with the information below.


Reference                       Change
Table A (pg.3)                  Outdoor overview updated to show household rules apply at Level 4 (no sporting bubble exemption)
Points 10.1.2 & 11.1.2      Link updated for Scottish Government 'Stay at Home' guidance.

Points 27-35                    Sporting Bubbles. Now updated to illustrate changes to sporting bubbles

                                       i.e. no sporting bubbles for over 12 year olds at Level4.
Point 46                          Coaching information updated - bubbles up to Level 3 for adults.
Point 90                          Updated title to link to 'Coronavirus (COVID-19): public use of face coverings'
Appendix 1                      Focus on Stay at Home message included throughout
Appx 1. Points 7-9           Travel restrictions in Level 4 updated
Appx 1. Points 10-12       Outdoor sport and activity restrictions updated.  Maximum 2 households / 2 people aged over 12 years

                                      plus further information on under 12s.
Appx 1. Point 15             Storage & locker room guidance updated.  Restrictions on personal access now in force.


The latest information from Sport Scotland received 23/09/20

There is not a great deal which is specific to SCUBA but you should note the general advice and continue to follow the advice re face coverings, social distancing hand washing etc..
“The key points announced today were:
• Private gatherings
o People will not be allowed to visit other households indoors. This extends the current guidance in the West of Scotland across Scotland as a whole. The public are asked to abide by this from Wednesday Sept 23rd and will be placed into law from Friday.
o There are exceptions for extended households, non-cohabiting couples, informal childcare, trades people.
o It is still acceptable to meet outdoors, including in private gardens, keeping to the 6 people / 2 household guidance.
o When outdoors, under 12s do not count towards either the 6 people or 2 household limit.
o When outdoors, 12 to 18 year olds must keep to the limit of 6 people, but are exempted from the 2 household limit.
• Car sharing: People should not car share with those from outside their household.
• Hospitality curfew: Pubs, restaurants and bars are required to close at 10pm.
• Environmental health: Additional funding for local Environmental Health teams, allowing for greater capacity for inspections of businesses to enhance compliance and enforcement.
• Work from home: People should continue to work from home where possible. This message was reinforced today.
• FACTS: The main public health ‘FACTS’ messaging remains: Face coverings; Avoid crowded places; Clean your hands regularly; Two meters distance; Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.
• Self-isolating: A package of support will be made available for those who have to self-isolate, including a payment of £500 for those with low income (details to follow). No changes to ‘punishments’ for breaching self-isolation at this stage.
• Shielding: No return to shielding advice.

The First Minister also noted that those potential changes which had an indicative date of 5 October are now further delayed. As a reminder, the potential changes most relevant for sport and physical activity were:
o Indoor contact sport: Allowed to resume for adults and young people aged 12 and over, following relevant SGB guidance. (Currently only allowed for children under 12.)
o Sports stadia: Allowed to re-open for limited numbers. Planned test events will go ahead and further test events may take place before 5 October.
o Events: There will be further relaxation of restrictions on indoor and outdoor events, although this will not allow all events and particularly large events to take place. “



3rd August Update

Following the government briefing on Thursday, Sport Scotland guidance of 9th July (available here ) has been updated and will be

available via the same link.  The relevant changes for diving are in section 18 and 26 and are highlighted in green.  Please refer to section 30.

Please remember that Sport Scotland guidance covers all sports and does not always fit well with diving.  Please follow the government advice of the day, ScotSAC rules and where necessary refer to the guidance which is available

in and via the ScotSAC website in the "Covid 19 advice and support section".



3rd July Update

The First Minister confirmed yesterday 2nd that the travel restrictions to 5 miles for recreation purposes will be lifted today 3rd July, with the exception of Dumfries and Galloway where there has been an outbreak. The advice is not to travel into or out of this area at least for this weekend.

Physical distancing at 2 metres remains in place except for specific circumstances associated with allowing businesses to function, but mitigations will be required to be agreed and put in place.

The wearing of face coverings in shops will become mandatory from next Friday 10th July.

The travel restrictions have probably been the greatest barrier to diving, and while from tomorrow it will be possible to go diving again, albeit in a limited fashion,( Newsletter sent to members today) the Scottish Government guidance must be followed. Please do not put yourselves, your families and your dive buddy at risk.

Please also make sure that your membership is up to date and you have assessed yourself against the UKDMC scorecard ( Covid-19 advice and support 26th June 2020: medical guidance ) before you consider going diving.

As usual all the government advice is available here

And of course diving specific advice is accessed on and through the ScotSAC /BSAC websites.



26th June 2020: medical guidance

The UKDMC have developed a score card for divers to assess whether or not it is safe for them to go diving, if they have had, or think they may have had Covid 19.

The implications for the lungs of divers is serious if they have lung changes due to the virus.  There is a risk of barotrauma and other respiratory difficulties.

It is important therefore that you read all the guidance information available on this site and elsewhere and in particular note the medical advice.

All renewing members will now complete the new medical form and it is imperative that you declare an episode of Covid 19 or symptoms

Use the score card to assess whether you need to seek advice before you go diving. UKDMC Scorecard

Advice can be obtained from ScotSACs own medical referee or via a medical referee on the list available here. Contact details can be obtained via HQ or via the listing on the UKDMC website.



24th June 2020: Phase 2 & 3 Scottish Government guidance

Following Scottish Government announcements today you will no doubt be delighted to hear that from 3rd July the 5 mile distance restriction will be lifted. This has probably been the biggest obstacle to a return to diving in Scotland.

Although it is possible to go diving now provided you can comply with Scottish Government guidance, e.g. the dive site is within a 5 mile radius of your home, from 3rd July this advice will be lifted and travel beyond the 5 mile radius for leisure and recreation purposes will be allowed. This makes travelling to dive sites much more viable.

Sport Scotland are keen for us to point out that

  • Public health and wellbeing remains the most pressing priority
  • We all have a responsibility to do what we can to continue to supress the spread of the virus

Until 3rd July we remain in Phase 2 of the route map and much of the guidance from the government regarding regular hand washing, cleaning of surfaces and remaining at 2 metres distance from others, remains in place and you can read the whole transcript of the First Minister’s announcement at the link below including the note of caution in relation to the spread of the virus, which, if increasing again, will possibly result in a reversal of the measures to move out of lockdown.


The  “Phase 2:  ScotSAC/BSAC GUIDELINES – extension to exercise, outdoor sport guidance”  which was submitted for approval to Sport Scotland as a requirement, is to be read in conjunction with the ScotSAC/ BSAC documents already on this page.

In it you will find links to a number of other Government and NHS guidance documents and you are encouraged to comply with 
However, you should still consider the following. 

  1. Above all you should comply with the government guidance of the day bearing in mind that the situation can change very quickly.
  2. From 10th July  “ People can meet in extended groups outdoors (with physical distancing)“
  3. Bear in mind that wherever you go, local facilities e.g. toilets, may still not be open
  4. Bear in mind that people local to the dive site may still not be comfortable with the presence of "strangers"
  5. Consider the burden on the emergency services and the NHS in the event of an incident and if you have not followed the government guidance ScotSAC insurance will be void

Above all ...

Stay Safe. Protect Others. Save Lives.



18th June 2020: Latest Guidance for Phase 2

ScotSAC / BSAC guidlines (based on guidance from Sport Scotland)




COVID-19 recovery




ScotSAC as the national governing body for Scotland and BSAC as the UK national governing body for the sport of underwater activities have prepared the guidance in this document to support a controlled and safe return to diving following relaxation of restrictions on activity and travel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland.


These notes are intended to provide a framework for a return to diving following easing of the Scottish government restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance is based on current knowledge and understanding of the risks associated with the outbreak and the current scientific evidence informing decisions by government and other relevant authorities. It is acknowledged that the evidence base and knowledge surrounding the outbreak is rapidly and continually evolving and so the guidance will be reviewed regularly and be subject to update and amendment as appropriate


The guidance is formed of a series of separate guidance notes covering specific activities. The framework is set out in the diagram below and shows the key hierarchy from Government evidence based rules and guidance down through regional and local government rules, infrastructure, transport and emergency service support to the guidelines.


The next level in the hierarchy is medical fitness to dive alongside the ‘STATUS’ which represents the current position in Scotland plus that of the UK and the other devolved administrations on lockdown rules, as Scottish divers may travel to those locations. The STATUS document in particular reflects both the current differences between the devolved administrations and the expectation is that this will be the document most likely to change regularly.


The remaining sections represent what will be presented as separate documents reflecting different aspects of diving activity, which are likely to be subject to differing access as lockdown rules are progressively relaxed. They are prepared as separate documents to facilitate ease of updating plus tracking and managing version control as the situation changes.


The links provided on this page will direct you to PDF documents on the BSAC website for each section including the STATUS document.


All content will be subject to continual review and update as evidence base, public advice and greater understanding of the virus develops.




STATUS Document

Medical guidance

Shore diving guidance

Equipment guidance

Rescue and CPR guidance

Diver training guidance

Travel guidance

Boat diving - small boats

Boat diving - charter boats

Snorkelling guidance

Swimming pool guidance

Club compressors and facilities guidance

PPE guidance