The COVID-19 pandemic was first confirmed to have spread to Scotland on 1 March 2020 with the positive COVID-19 test of a male Tayside resident who had recently travelled between Scotland and northern Italy. The first reported case of community transmission was on 11 March 2020 and the first reported coronavirus death in Scotland was on 13 March 2020.

By 9 May 2020 there had been 4,503 cumulative cases of suspected COVID-19 in care homes and up to 3,672 staff had reported as absent in adult care homes due to COVID-19, representing 8.5% of all adult care home staff (43,403) for whom figures had been provided. By 20 May 2020, 14,969 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed and 2,245 test-confirmed deaths had been reported. 13 March: The first death from COVID-19 in Scotland was confirmed, of an elderly patient with underlying health conditions. 16 March: 171 cases had been confirmed from 4,895 tests, with positive cases being reported by all health boards of NHS Scotland.The Scottish Government told cafes, pubs, and restaurants to close.

22 September: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces nation wide restrictions which go into effect on Friday 25 September, these restrictions affect the pub closing times to meetings within households.23 September: 486 new confirmed cases were recorded in the previous 24 hours – the highest daily total since the start of the outbreak.24 September: 124 students at Glasgow University tested positive for the virus, causing 600 students to go into self-isolation.5 October: As a further 697 cases of the COVID-19 are reported, with 218 people as inpatients and 22 in intensive care, the First Minister of Scotland is set to meet advisers to discuss new measures.

On 25 March the Scottish Government set up an expert advisory group to help develop and improve its COVID-19 response plan.  Dr Catherine Calderwood was Chief Medical Officer until her resignation from the post on 5 April. A new ‘Scotland Cares’ campaign was launched on Monday 30 March to encourage people to volunteer during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. More than 21,000 people signed up on the first day.

By 4 April, the number of registrations to volunteer stood at 50,330. Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People Shirley-Anne Somerville said, “The response to the Scotland Cares campaign has been outstanding and I want to thank each and every person who has signed up to volunteer during the coronavirus outbreak. Your support at this critical time is invaluable and will make a huge difference over the coming weeks and months.

Chief Medical Officer for Scotland Catherine Calderwood described mass testing as a distraction that will not slow down the spread of the virus. She said: “I have been saying and advising the First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for several weeks now about the distraction that I think the focus on testing may become. The testing is extremely useful but it is only going to be positive within a short window of perhaps 48 to 72 hours while somebody has symptoms, because there needs to be an amount of virus in that person to be able for that to be detected.

Research carried out by scientific online publication Our World In Data on COVID-19 test rates across EU member states ranked Scotland at 19 out of 25 countries that publish such data.As of 11 May 2020,a total of 74,063 people in Scotland had been tested for COVID-19 in NHS labs. Of these, 13,627 tests were confirmed positive, 60,436 tests were confirmed negative and 1,862 patients who tested positive have died. A total of 101,122 COVID-19 tests had been carried out by NHS Scotland labs in hospitals..

As of 19 March 2020, the Robert Gordon University, Edinburgh Napier University, the University of Dundee, the University of Glasgow, University of the West of Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian University, the University of Aberdeen, Edinburgh University, Heriot-Watt University, University of Stirling and University of Strathclyde had cancelled or suspended face-to-face classes.The Scottish Government’s Chief Economist Gary Gillespie said Scotland’s GDP could fall by as much as 33% from the lockdown crisis. Retail sales in Scotland for March 2020 declined 13% in comparison to March 2019