Where we are now
The First Minister announced that Scotland would be entering a lockdown on 23 March 2020. Under law, the Scottish Government must review that lockdown at least every three weeks (most recently on 18 June when we entered Phase 2). The Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making – Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis, was published on 21 May and sets out the phases by which we will aim to ease lockdown. They will be gradual and incremental and will be matched with careful monitoring of the virus.
In line with the Route Map’s Phase 2, non-office based indoor workplaces can now operate but some studios may open at a later date due to their individual circumstances and the required preparatory work for ensuring physical distancing and enhanced hygiene measures.
Physical distancing duties are set out in regulation 4(1) of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020. A person who is responsible for carrying on a business or providing a service must take all reasonable measures:
- to ensure that a distance of two metres is maintained between any persons on the premises (except between members of the same household or a carer and the person assisted by the carer)
- to ensure that they only admit people to its premises in sufficiently small numbers to make it possible to maintain that distance
- to ensure that a distance of two metres is maintained between any person waiting to enter the premises (except between members of the same household or a carer and the person assisted by the carer)
We want a strong creative sector to help drive Scotland's economic recovery and future prosperity. Studio providers should therefore use this guidance to look forward and engage with building representatives, studio users, trade union or workforce representatives to develop specific plans for a managed transition away from current restrictions, allowing sufficient time for that joint work.
The Scottish Government has initiated a broad collaborative process to develop sectoral guidance which will underpin that managed transition and provide clarity and confidence to industry, employees and local communities, protect public health and concurrently optimise economic recovery. Aligned with that we are reviewing and enhancing testing and enforcement arrangements, and ensuring that the guidance is coherent and connected, recognising for example transport and other inter-dependencies.
We are working with the UK Government to align our approach and guidance where possible and on the basis of scientific evidence on the levels of infection in Scotland. This guidance is intended to work alongside UK Government guidance and aims to assist employers, businesses and their workforce in Scotland to ensure a safe working environment and readers will recognise consistent themes within this guidance with the UK Government’s Working Safely during COVID-19 publications.
There has been an unprecedented package of support announced from both the Scottish and UK Governments to support businesses. This support should help many employers preserve their business, maintain jobs and pay their workers throughout this crisis.
Information on this support, as well as advice on workplace safety and hygiene, is available through findbusinesssupport. gov. scot. We urge all businesses to make use of this where applicable. In the event of the risk of imminent closures all available support measures must be utilised to protect the jobs and incomes of Scotland’s creative sector.