Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): business and physical distancing guidance

Guidance for businesses in Scotland on physical distancing, including the closure of all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): business and physical distancing guidance
Businesses and premises which MUST close

Businesses and premises which MUST close

On 23 March 2020 the Scottish Government working closely with the UK Government, stepped up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives.

All the following non-essential premises must now close.

Takeaway and delivery services may remain open and operational in line with earlier guidance on 20 March 2020. Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal. 

Retail and public premises which we expect to remain open must:

  • ensure a distance of two metres between customers, and between customers  and shop assistants; and  take equivalent measures to protect their workforce consistent with fair work principles;
  • let people enter the shop only in small numbers, to ensure that spaces are not crowded. 
  • ensure queue control consistent with social distancing advice outside of shops and other essential premises that remain open.

Parks will remain open but only for individuals and households to exercise once a day. Communal spaces within parks such as playgrounds and football pitches will be closed.   

As also set out in the UK Government’s published guidance the following common list of businesses and premises must remain closed:

Business, premises or place

Exceptions

Food and drink

Restaurants

Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational and can be a new activity supported by the new permitted development right. This covers the provision of hot or cold food that has been prepared for consumers for collection or delivery to be consumed, reheated or cooked by consumers off the premises

Cafes, including workplace canteens

 

Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational.

Cafés or canteens at hospitals, care homes or schools; prison and military canteens; services providing food or drink to the homeless.

Where there are no practical alternatives, other workplace canteens can remain open to provide food for their staff and/or provide a space for breaks. However, where possible, staff should be encouraged to bring their own food, and distributors should move to takeaway. Measures should be taken to minimise the number of people in the canteen at any one given time, for example by using a rota.

Public houses

Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational and can be a new activity supported by the new permitted development right. This covers the provision of hot or cold food that has been prepared for consumers for collection or delivery to be consumed, reheated or cooked by consumers off the premises

Bars and nightclubs, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs

 

Retail

Hair, beauty and nail salons, including piercing and tattoo parlours

 

Massage parlours

 

All retail with notable exceptions

 

 

• Supermarkets and other food shops

 

• Medical services (such as dental surgeries, opticians and audiology clinics, physiotherapy clinics, chiropody and podiatry clinics, and other professional vocational medical services)

 

• Pharmacies and chemists, including non-dispensing pharmacies

 

• Petrol stations

 

• Bicycle shops

 

• Hardware shops and equipment, plant and tool hire

 

• Veterinary surgeries and pet shops

 

• Agricultural supplies shops

 

• Corner shops and newsagents

 

• Off-licences and licenced shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries

 

• Laundrettes and dry cleaners

 

• Post offices

 

• Vehicle rental services

 

• Car garages and MOT services

 

• Car parks

 

• High street banks, building societies, short-term loan providers, credit unions and cash points

 

• Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off points where they are on the premises of any of the above businesses

 

• Public toilets

 

• Shopping centres may stay open but only units of the types listed above may trade

Outdoor and indoor markets

 

Market stalls which offer essential retail, such as grocery and food
Livestock markets and auctions

Auction houses

Livestock markets and auctions

Car showrooms

Car garages and repair shops

Hotels

Hotels, hostels, B&Bs, campsites and boarding houses for commercial use

 

Where people live in these as interim abodes whilst their primary residence is unavailable, or they live in them in permanently they may continue to do so.

 

Critical workers and non-UK residents who are unable to travel to their country of residence during this period can continue to stay in hotels or similar where required.

 

People who are unable to move into a new home due to the current restrictions can also stay at hotels.

 

Where hotels, hostels, and B&Bs are providing rooms to support homeless and other vulnerable people such as those who cannot safely stay in their home, through arrangements with local authorities and other public bodies, they may remain open.

 

Those attending a funeral will be able to use hotels when returning home would be impractical.


Hotels are allowed to host blood donation sessions.


Providers of holiday accommodation, that are subject to the requirement to cease carrying on their business, can continue to provide information or services online, by telephone or by post.

Caravan parks/sites for commercial uses

 

Where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available, they may continue to do so.

Non-residential institutions

Libraries

Digital library services and those where orders are taken electronically, by telephone or by post (for example no-contact Home Library Services) may continue.

Community centres, youth centres and similar

 

For the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions.

 

Public venues that host blood donation sessions can continue to open temporarily for these services only. A distance of two metres should be maintained as per Public Health Scotland guidelines.

Places of worship

 

Funerals in places of worship, burial grounds and crematoria, where the congregation are members of the deceased’s household or close family. In a case where no members of the deceased’s household or family members are attending, friends can attend. A distance of two metres should be maintained between every household group, as per Public Health Scotland guidelines.

 

A minister of religion or worship leader may leave their home to travel to their place of worship. A place of worship may broadcast an act of worship, whether over the internet or otherwise.

 

For the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public service, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions.

Cinemas, theatres and concert halls

 

Small group performances for the purposes of live streaming could be permissible where social distancing guidelines are observed and no audience attend the venue.

 

Blood donation sessions also allowed to be held at these venues.

Assembly and leisure

Museums and galleries

 

Bingo halls, casinos and betting shops

 

Spas

 

Skating rinks

 

Fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres

Leisure centres may stay open for blood donation sessions.

Arcades, bowling alleys, soft play centres and similar

 

Outdoor recreation

Enclosed spaces in parks, including playgrounds, sports courts and pitches, and outdoor gyms or similar

 

These businesses and venues must close as they involve prolonged close social contact, which increases the chance of infection spreading.

Providers of funeral services such as funeral directors, burial grounds and funeral homes may remain open, provided social distancing guidelines can be observed.

Length of closure 

This guidance comes into effect immediately and extends until further notice.