The country has entered a period of ‘National Mourning’ following the death of Prince Philip.

The Duke of Edinburgh passed away aged 99 on Friday, with the period of mourning to continue until the day after his funeral – which takes place this coming Saturday, April 17.

Details of the funeral can be found here.

Following the news, with many looking to gather publicly to pay their respects, the Scottish and UK Government have issued guidance for the upcoming period.

A statement on their website reads: “The Scottish Government understands that the public will wish to pay their respects at this time but this must be done in accordance with restrictions in place to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Due to these restrictions, there will be minimal ceremonial activity with no opportunity for public gatherings.”

Here, we outline some of the key rules during this period:

Stay Local:

The Scottish Government says travel restrictions remain in place to limit Covid transmission.

People must remain within the local area except for permitted purposes and are advised to stay close to home. Full guidance can be found here.

Barrhead News:

Floral tributes:

The Scottish Government says that, given the current restrictions, the public should not attempt to travel to Edinburgh or any other Royal location to pay their respects.

They added: “There will be no opportunities for the public to lay flowers at any official location in Scotland.”

Book of Condolence:

An online book of condolence has been launched at the Royal Household website here.

Due to the current restrictions, no physical Books of Condolence will be available.

Business closures?

There is no obligation for businesses to close during the mourning period unless they wish to – with the UK Government adding “this is a decision for individual organisations”.

Minute Silence:

A national one minute silence will take place at 3pm on the day of the funeral (Saturday, April 17).

The UK Government add that businesses may wish to make arrangements for observing the silence.


Flags on government buildings will be flown at half-mast from the day of death to the day of the private funeral service.

The Scottish Government says other public and private bodies in Scotland may wish to take similar action at their own discretion and, if doing so, ensure they continue to observe the current physical distancing measures.

Public and emergency services:

All public services and any services involved in the response to the pandemic will continue as usual throughout the mourning period.

Members of the public will be able to access information and services online as necessary.

All emergency and non-emergency healthcare will be able to continue as normal.

Websites and social media:

The UK Government acknowledges that some people may wish to use online social media channels to reflect the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

They suggest those who wish to do so could modify their homepage or image to feature a visual indication of mourning – for example the use of black edging or black banners.