Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): retail sector guidance

Guidance for the retail sector, including close contact services such as hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons, which covers procedures for staff and customer safety and an operations checklist.

Click and Collect services

From 16 January 2021 click and collect services can only be offered by retailers that are classified as essential businesses or those non-essential retailers that are currently closed but listed in the The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 12) Regulations 2021 as retailers that can provide permitted collection services. These are:

  • baby equipment shops
  • book shops
  • clothing shops
  • electrical goods shops, including repair shops
  • footwear shops
  • garden centres and plant nurseries
  • homeware shops
  • key cutting shops
  • libraries
  • shoe repair shops

All other non-essential retailers must cease click and collect services but can still provide delivery of items ordered by telephone and on-line.

The use of click and collect services is subject to the stay at home Regulations, by law, no-one is permitted to leave their home unless it is for an essential purpose.  More information is available in the Stay At Home guidance.

Permitted Collection Services

It is important that all collection services are operated in a way that minimises any opportunity for contact between staff and customers and between customers.  For those retailers listed above, who are otherwise closed to the public, they are able to offer a permitted collection services only where it meets the following legal requirements:

  • It is operated by a staggered appointment system for collection with, where reasonably practicable, a gap between each appointment to separate customers from each other, and
  • Limits access to the premises only to the extent, if any, that is required to offer the collection service.   Access to other areas of the closed store is not allowed. 

Retailers should therefore ensure that there is a gap between appointments unless there is a good reason why that is not practicable.  The length of the gap may vary according to the circumstances, bearing in mind that this new requirement is imposed in order to keep staff and customers safe.

Whilst these measures apply specifically to the above list of permitted collection service retailers, essential retailers who are open should strive to implement similar controls, wherever possible, in order to minimise the need for customers to enter the premises and to minimise interactions with each other and with staff.

Other measures that may be put in place could include:

  • Avoiding passing goods hand-to-hand.
  • Frequent cleaning of any surfaces involved in collection services and reducing touch points.
  • Messaging customers in advance of collection to emphasise the need for face coverings to be worn and that 2 metre physical distancing is to be maintained.
  • Additional appropriate measures to ensure customers with disabilities are able to collect safely and securely.



First published: 9 Dec 2020 Last updated: 19 Jan 2021 -