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
Vaccination and workplace testing

Vaccination and workplace testing


NHS Scotland strongly recommends that you attend your vaccine appointments when offered, this includes any booster vaccine which may be available. Further information on COVID-19 vaccines can be found at NHS Inform.

Employers can help encourage vaccine take up by:

  • supporting staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine once its offered to them. This may require paid time off to attend the appointment
  • encouraging vaccine take up by sharing the benefits of being vaccinated with employees. It could help to display material from the NHS COVID-19 vaccination marketing toolkit which includes information leaflets in a number of languages

Further information and guidance is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination.

COVID-19 certification

COVID vaccine certificates are needed to get into the following higher risk settings in Scotland:

  • 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

Guidance is available which explains the vaccine certification scheme in more detail and confirms what premises and event organisers need to do to operate a reasonable system for checking that individuals on their premises are fully vaccinated. Separate guidance is available for the public, customers and event attendees.


Workplace testing

Regular testing using lateral flow devices (LFDs), also known as rapid tests, helps to find positive cases in people who have no symptoms, but who are still infectious. Workplace testing aims to break chains of transmission and supports the operation of essential services. 

Workplace testing in Scotland is open to all Scottish businesses with over 10 employees. This approach aims to support and protect Scottish businesses as they return to work, especially those with younger members of staff who may not be fully vaccinated and therefore more vulnerable to COVID-19.  Businesses with under 10 employees can freely access the universal testing programme. We will review our approach to workplace testing in September 2021.

For Scottish businesses with over 10 employees the following asymptomatic testing routes are available:

If a business is currently not eligible for workplace testing via the Scottish Government, the testing routes available are:

  • Companies can set up their own private testing arrangements  
  • universal testing for employees who are not participating in other schemes in an education or workplace settings.
  • Employees can collect their own test kits from a local test site or order online for the tests to be sent via the post or also can collect from a registered community pharmacies across Scotland.

The asymptomatic testing programme does not replace the current testing policy for people with COVID-19 symptoms. People who experience symptoms of coronavirus must self-isolate immediately and arrange a PCR test. People with symptoms must not rely on a negative LFD result as a reason to continue to attend the workplace.



First published: 6 Aug 2021 Last updated: 15 Oct 2021 -