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.

Next steps

This guidance extends until further notice. It sets out current advice and guidance for the retail sector in helping to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, and how retail businesses respond to local or national changes as set out in Scotland’s Strategic Framework and as we move in a phased manner as set out in the Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making – Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis

The route map provides an indication of the order in which we will carefully and gradually seek to lift restrictions, but does not attempt to specify dates for all the different phases. All of this will be evidence led. Easing restrictions will not mean returning to how things were before the virus. Physical distancing, hand hygiene, and other critical behaviours will be essential in each area to ensure public and workforce confidence. 

This guidance will be updated and reviewed as required in consultation with the sector’s employers and unions. Please ensure you use the latest version.

It is for individual businesses in conjunction with trade unions and workforce representatives selected by employees to decide how best to successfully adopt and adapt guidance for their individual circumstances.

Industry guidance

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) in consultation with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied workers (USDAW) published its Physical Distancing in Retail Stores and Warehouses guidance.  

These recommendations cover two areas:

  • warehouse and distribution settings
  • re-opening of other retail premises  

BRC has worked with USDAW to agree practical recommendations for businesses to consider. This guidance can be used in conjunction with the Scottish Government’s guidance. There is also an operational FAQ which may answer provide additional guidance on specific issues that may be useful to consult in order to inform your workplace adaptation.

Last updated: 30 October 2020



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