Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer businesses and workplaces

Guidance for businesses and workplaces - including laboratories and research facilities - on reducing the risk of COVID-19 and supporting staff and customers.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer businesses and workplaces
Precautionary measures

Precautionary measures

Precautionary measures are steps intended to reduce the spread of the virus and help us maintain the good progress we have made as we move forward to greater normality.

Although some precautionary measures will remain as mandatory legal requirements to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, others will be advisory. The precautionary measures are:

Mandatory precautionary measures:

Precautionary  measure How to protect yourself and others
Wear a face covering Face coverings are mandatory in most indoor public places, indoor communal spaces including retail, restaurants, cafes, bars and public houses, and in workplaces and on public transport, unless you are exempt for specific circumstances. See a full list of the areas you must wear a face covering
Self-isolate when symptoms first appear

Everyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 – a new, continuous cough; fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste - should isolate straight away and arrange a test via www.nhsinform.scot or, if you can’t get online, by calling 0800 028 2816.

Everyone should follow these steps even if you have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination. A failure to isolate could amount to a criminal offence.

Self-isolate if you have been identified as a close contact of a positive case

If you have been identified by Test and Protect as a close contact of a positive case,you should self-isolate and book a PCR test . If the test result comes back negative you may be able to end the self-isolation period if you meet the self-isolation exemption  criteria.

An exemption to the self-isolation rules applies to close contacts who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination at least two weeks ago, or are under 18 provided they meet further criteria (further information about eligibility is available).

People who test positive for COVID-19 still need to self-isolate for ten days, regardless of their vaccination status
Certification Scheme It is mandatory for people to show proof that they have been fully vaccinated, have tested negative for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, or are otherwise exempt to get into certain venues and events – this is known as the Certification Scheme – please see further information on when this applies.

Advisory precautionary measures:

Precautionary  Measure

How to protect yourself and others

Get vaccinated when offered

 Encourage staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine through supporting the dissemination of national campaign information. Individuals retain the right to choose whether to take the vaccine and employers should be mindful of this
Good hand and respiratory hygiene and surface cleaning

Good hygiene measures are key workplace-specific measures to create a safe working environment. These include, for example:

  • providing access to sanitiser and hand-washing facilities
  • regular cleaning of work equipment, chairs and work stations areas and common touch points
  • regular cleaning and sanitising of communal areas
  • if sneezing  or coughing  around other people, do so into a tissue, handkerchief or your elbow
  • minimising the use of touchpoints throughout buildings, including exploring where possible how digital processes or systems may replace the need for face-to-face discussion 

Ensure good ventilation

 

By taking measures to increase the volume of outside air entering a building, such as opening windows, doors or vents, you can help minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19 to colleagues and customers. 

A range of guidance has been developed to help businesses, employers and employees understand what good ventilation is which includes Scottish Government ventilation guidance and the Health and Safety Executive guidance on ventilation and air conditioning during COVID-19.

Working from home and hybrid working

We ask that businesses maximise the potential for home working wherever possible in consultation with employees. The virus transmits when people interact. And when people go to work they interact in a number of ways – including through travel, during lunch breaks, and after work. So support for homeworking, whenever possible, remains one of the most effective protections we have at our disposal just now.

Employers and staff members are best placed to understand how the workplace can be organised and therefore any decision to implement home/flexible/hybrid working will be for the employer to make, through collaboration with staff and the relevant union, if required.

Sector specific measures

These are additional measures for specific sectors, some advisory and some mandatory to help the sector to reduce transmission of the virus.

Sector/industry

Measures

Hospitality (including nightclubs and adult entertainment)

  • mandatory local licensing laws will apply
  • mandatory collection of contact details remains in place
  • strongly encourage the use of table service where possible, alternatively a takeaway service may be provided, though bar service is now permitted in law

From 1 October 2021, the  Covid  Certification Scheme introduced the legal requirement for vaccine certificates to be provided in order to access certain higher risk settings in Scotland with the regulations enforceable from 18 October 2021 following a grace period.

From 6 December 2021, the option of providing evidence of a recent negative LFD test or a negative PCR test to gain entry will be added as an alternative.

The regulations apply in the following settings:

  • late night premises with music, which serve alcohol at any time between midnight and 5 am and have a designated place for dancing for customers
  • indoor events (unseated) with 500 or more people
  • outdoor events (unseated) with 4,000 or more people
  • any event with more than 10,000 people where industry guidance has been produced, businesses should read it in conjunction with Scottish Government guidance.

Cultural venues, stadia and live events

 

From 1 October 2021, the  Covid  Certification Scheme introduced the legal requirement for vaccine certificates to be provided in order to access certain higher risk settings in Scotland with the regulations enforceable from 18 October 2021 following a grace period.

From 6 December 2021, the option of providing evidence of a recent negative LFD test or a negative PCR test to gain entry will be added as an alternative.

The regulations apply in the following settings:

  • late night premises with music, which serve alcohol at any time between midnight and 5 am and have a designated place for dancing for customers
  • indoor events (unseated) with 500 or more people
  • outdoor events (unseated) with 4,000 or more people
  • any event with more than 10,000 people.

Where industry guidance has been produced, businesses should read it in conjunction with Scottish Government guidance.

Weddings, funerals, civil partnerships and other milestone events

There are no restrictions remaining on how many people may attend significant life or milestone events however they must still comply with all other precautionary measures that are listed in the Staying safe and protecting others guidance.

Working in other people’s homes

When working in other people’s homes, it is still important to take actions and implement measures to limit the risk of transmission of the virus. This is important for limiting the risk to yourself/your employees, but also the risk to those living in the house where the work is taking place.

  • if anyone in the house is self-isolating, workers shouldn’t enter unless the work required is essential/an emergency
  • as with any workplace, risk assessments are important in identifying risks and how they can be controlled. Even if self-employed or an individual contractor, you should undertake a risk assessment for working in someone else’s home that covers Covid.
  • workers should consider wearing a face covering, especially when moving through the home or engaging with any of the householders. They may want to ask members of the household to wear a covering when engaging, though not everyone is able to wear one.
  • where possible, ventilation of the workspace/ home should be maximised to allow circulation of fresh air
  • workers should try to keep a reasonable distance from individuals in the household
  • when travelling to/from the work location, consider the relevant guidance

If you employ individuals who are required to work in other people’s homes, you should continue to work with employees, or employee representatives, on health and safety matters.

Enforcement

Within the regulations there are still mandatory requirements - specifically around face coverings in indoor areas, subject to exemptions, and Test and Protect collection of details in some settings. Regulators and police will continue their current enforcement role for these requirements under the regulations following the 4 e’s approach, engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.


Contact

Email: DLECONPSWT@gov.scot

First published: 6 Aug 2021 Last updated: 6 Dec 2021 -