Latest updates


FACTS coronavirus use

Timetable for easing COVID-19 restrictions - 14 April

We expect Scotland to move through the levels on the following dates:

  • 26 April: mainland Scotland (including Midlothian) and islands at Level 4 are expected to move to Level 3. Islands at Level 3 will remain there until 17 May
  • 17 May: all of Scotland will move to Level 2
  • June (early): all of Scotland will move to Level 1
  • June (late): all of Scotland will move to Level 0

See the Scottish Government table for summary information on what you can and cannot do at each level (PDF)

Change to COVID-19 restrictions in Scotland - 13 April 

The First Minister has announced a change to the Covid restrictions which are currently in place.  She said: “From Friday this week - 16 April - we will all be able to travel anywhere within Scotland for the purposes of outdoor socialising, recreation, or informal exercise. We are also able to relax the rules for meeting people outdoors, again from Friday. At the moment, a maximum of four adults from two households are permitted to meet outdoors. From Friday onwards, that will change to a maximum of six adults, from up to six households.”

Please continue to adhere to the FACTS:

  • wear face coverings;
  • avoid anywhere busy;
  • clean hands and surfaces;
  • use two metre distancing
  • and self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.

Current restriction level - 2 April

From 2 April, the stay at home rule will change to stay local. From 5 April, more services will be able to open. 

Business funding – updated 18 March 

The Strategic Framework Business Fund

The Strategic Framework Business Fund (SFBF) final four-weekly payment will be made on 22 March 2021. On 19 April, all SFBF recipients will automatically receive a final supplement and one-off restart grant to help them reopen their business.

Scottish Government Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund (18 March update)

The Scottish Government has now confirmed that the closing date for the Taxi and Private Hire Driver fund will be extended to 25 March.

Football pitches from Monday 15 March

Sport and Leisure will be able to take football bookings from 9am on Monday 15 March.

All bookings for grass and artificial pitches will be by calling the leisure centre associated with each specific pitch, no bookings will be taken in person. 

Libraries - Reserve and Collect restarting

All libraries are currently closed although the Reserve and Collect library service is restarting. From Monday 15 March, Dalkeith, Newtongrange and Penicuik libraries are reopening to deliver the Reserve and Collect service only. The mobile library will also restart at this time for this service only. Library buildings and facilities are still shut, but you can arrange to collect and drop off library items by using the Reserve and Collect service. Book using the web form or contact the branch library by phone or email. 

Return to school

Schools have been in touch directly with parents and carers about arrangements for the remainder of pupils to return to school on Monday 15 March. 

Education update (Tuesday 2 March)

Schools will be in touch with parents and carers about arrangements for all children to return to primary school full-time from Monday March 15 after today’s announcement by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

All secondary school pupils in Scotland will return to classrooms part-time from the same date and are expected back full-time from after the Easter break on Tuesday 20 April.

Again, secondary schools will contact parents and carers about the phased return to ‘in-person’ learning once they have considered today’s announcement. 

New business support funds

Mobile and Home-Based Close Contact Services Fund (closed 23 March)

This fund is for owners and operators of mobile and home-based close contact service businesses and for Registered Driving Instructors.

Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund (closed 23 March)

This grant scheme is designed to help alleviate financial hardship for newly self-employed people who meet the eligibility criteria. The scheme offers a one-off £4,000 payment for those whose status as being newly self-employed makes them ineligible for the UK Government’s Coronavirus (Covid-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

New discretionary fund to help support small businesses (Tuesday 9 February)

Small or micro businesses in Midlothian may be eligible for support from a newly launched COVID-19 discretionary fund. Financed by the Scottish Government, the fund is aimed at those who have not been able to get any other grant support or can show that they have not received enough to keep them in a viable trading position. Small businesses who supply goods or services to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses required to close or restricted by law due to COVID-19 may also be eligible.

One-off grants

Administered by Midlothian Council, the discretionary fund provides one-off grants of £1,500 to those who meet the funding criteria. Although it is open for applications until Friday 5 March, funding is limited and eligible businesses are encouraged to apply early.

Phased return to school and lockdown restrictions update (Tues 2 Feb update)

Depute Council Leader Councillor Jim Muirhead has thanked local residents for complying with the level four restrictions, which will be extended until at least the end of February. Given the detrimental impact school closures is having on children’s wellbeing, he also cautiously welcomed news of the phased and gradual return of some pupils and children to nurseries and schools after the February mid-term break. 

Information about senior phase qualifications (Thursday 28 January)

A letter and FAQs have gone to parents and carers explaining more about the formal assessments of national qualifications.  
•    Read the letter
•    Read the FAQs

Snow impacting on services (Thursday 21 January)

Snow is causing some disruption to council services currently, including to some school transport routes. Schools remain open for key workers' and vulnerable children. Bin collections have been suspended. 

Most pupils learning from home until mid February (19 January)

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday 19 January that Scotland's Covid-19 lockdown has been extended until at least the middle of February, with most school pupils to continue learning from home. She hopes schools will be able to at least begin a phased return to the classroom in the middle of next month.

Schools will continue to provide critical childcare only for key workers and for our most vulnerable children and young people.

Category 1 or 2 key workers should contact their child's school directly with any queries about places. 

Schools will continue to provide home learning until at least the middle of February. This learning experience will be different, however it will still be based on children’s current learning targets.

More information about changes to some council services (Tuesday 5 January update)

Find out more about our critical service delivery, which will mean no changes to current recycling services. Parks will also remain open. 

Council to deliver critical services only (Monday 4 January update)

Following today’s announcement by the First Minister that additional level 4 restrictions will be in place from midnight tonight (Monday), Midlothian Council will deliver critical services only.

These new restrictions, which are similar to the lockdown of March and will be in place at least until the end of January, mean that everyone should stay at home. 

This means it will only be permissible to leave home for an essential purpose.

This will include, for example, caring responsibilities, essential shopping, exercise and being part of an extended household.

In addition, anyone who is able to work from home, must do so. It will only be a reasonable excuse to leave your home to go to work, if that work cannot be done from home.

The Scottish Government is also providing new guidance for people who are in the shielding category.

If you were shielding and you cannot work from home, you should not go into work at all.

From tomorrow (Tuesday), the rule on outdoor gatherings will change.

A maximum of two people from up to two households will be able to meet outdoors.

Children aged 11 and under will not be counted in that limit, and they will also be able to play outdoors in larger groups, including in organised gatherings.

However, for everyone else – including 12 to 17 year olds - outdoor exercise should only take place in a way which is consistent with the 2 people from 2 households rule.

In addition, strict travel restrictions remain in place across Scotland. From tomorrow, you cannot leave your home except for an essential purpose. When you do go out, stay as close to home as possible and stay away from crowded places.

The restrictions are enforceable by law. Many thanks for your co-operation.


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