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 once every three weeks (most recently on 9 July). 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. Laboratories and research facilities resumed in Phase 2.
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 a place of worship, for carrying on a business or providing a service must take all reasonable measures :
- to ensure that the required distance 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 the required distance 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)
The required distance is 1 metre in relation to public transport premises or a shop and 2 metres in all other cases. For the purposes of the physical distancing duty, “shop” is defined in regulation 4(11) and does not include premises such as banks.
This guidance should be read in conjunction with the Scottish Government’s and NHS Scotland’s business and physical distancing guidance which still applies.
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 worker throughout this crisis. Information on business support is available through findbusinesssupport.gov.scot. We urge all businesses to make use of this. In the event of closures for businesses involving laboratory and research work, all available support measures must be utilised to protect the jobs and incomes of the sector.