Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): retail sector guidance

Guidance for the retail sector, including procedures for staff and customer safety and an operations checklist.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): retail sector guidance
Sector specific advice

Sector specific advice

Whilst this guidance has been developed for the retail sector in Scotland, we appreciate that some sub-sectors within retail require further advice for the goods or services they sell. For these areas, further guidance has been published for:

Food-based retail and guidance on preparing food

This measure is applicable to all businesses which sell food by retail.  It does not apply to hospitality premises which provide table service such as bars, pubs cafes and restaurants for which there is separate guidance on tourism and hospitality. In businesses offering both take-away and table service, face coverings should only be removed in designated seating areas which are provided for customers to eat and drink. Food Standards Scotland’s guidance provides more information on the control of COVID-19 in all businesses involved in food production and service.

Food Standard Scotland has produced guidance for consumers and food businesses that takes account of food industry guidelines produced to provide a safe working environment. 

Betting shops

In recognition of the increased risk of virus transmission associated with longer customer dwell times, betting shops should implement the following additional mitigations at all times:

  • request customer contact details from staff and customers for Test and Protect
  • minimise customer dwell time within the premises
  • ensure public health measures are rigorously adhered to at all times, particularly 1m physical distancing (from 19 July) and capacity guidelines  where customer seating is provided
  • follow background sounds guidance when TVs are switched on

We strongly urge all betting shops with the means to sign up and use the free Test and Protect ‘Check-in Scotland’ digital service. All guidance, a user toolkit and to register to generate your unique QR poster can be found atCheck-in Scotland

Additional guidance applies to gaming machines in betting shops:

In Level 3

  • switch off gaming machines (in line with amusement arcades)

Level 2 and below

  • gaming machines may be switched on subject to enhanced hygiene protocols: all hard touch surfaces should be cleaned down between use. Machines should be set back from main thoroughfares, entrances and exits, and should be limited to single players with no crowding around the terminals.

BACTA (British Amusement Catering Trade Association), the representative body for the amusement machine supply chain has also produced sector specific guidance for its members to be used in conjunction with these measures

Motor vehicle showrooms

Level 4

Additional restrictions apply to motor vehicle showrooms in Level 4 where, by law, customer access to an indoor showroom must be by staggered appointment with, where reasonably practicable, a gap between each appointment. In Level 4, test drives are permitted prior to final completion of the sale. These should take place with one sole occupant (the purchaser) and the car must be fully cleaned before and after. Motor dealers should put in place processes to ensure test drives are conducted in a restricted and responsible manner, for example through the use of appointments or by offering a test as part of the vehicle collection process.

Level 3 and below

Accompanied test drives are allowed to take place within the vehicle with the purchaser and designated motor salesperson. Motor showrooms should put the following mitigations in place to minimise transmission risk:

  • face coverings must be worn in the vehicle at all times (See: guidance on the use of face coverings)
  • vehicles should be well ventilated, by opening windows. Ventilation systems should be set to draw in fresh air and not to recirculate it
  • there should be a maximum of two people in the vehicle (seller and buyer) and they should sit in front driver seat and back passenger seat to ensure physical distancing
  • hands should be sanitised before and after the drive
  • vehicles should be cleaned before and after use, ensuring that all touch points have been sanitised and wiped clean

Garden centres and plant nurseries

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has produced sector specific guidance for staff and customers.



First published: 1 Apr 2021 Last updated: 23 Jul 2021 -