Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): returning to work safely

Guidance for workers and employers on returning to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): returning to work safely
Advice and compliance

Advice and compliance

Scottish Government, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Local Authorities and Police Scotland have issued a joint statement to set out the position around how responsibilities are split across the regulatory bodies, and the legislative context within which they operate.

The Scottish Government and the regulators will ensure that there is effective advice and guidance in place to support employers meet these obligations and by working together – employers, workers, unions and the regulatory bodies – we can create safe workplaces for all.

Everyone is expected to comply with the guidance issued by the Scottish and UK Governments in relation to coronavirus, in order to protect both themselves and others. 

On 26 March 2020 the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) came into force. The Regulations have since been amended to make changes to the restrictions on businesses.

The Regulations list those businesses that must close (as detailed in this guidance) and also oblige those that are open to enforce physical distancing in their premises. 

Where an owner, proprietor or manager carrying out a business or the person responsible for providing a service contravenes the Regulations, that person commits an offence.

Businesses and venues that breach the Regulations will be subject to prohibition notices, and potentially fixed penalties. Local Authorities working with the Health and Safety Executive and with the support of Police Scotland, are empowered to issue prohibition notices to require compliance with the Regulations including requiring that an activity ceases.

If prohibition notices are not followed, or fixed penalty notice not accepted, you may also be taken to court with potential for a fine up to the statutory maximum of £10,000.

Test and Protect

Test and Protect is Scotland’s approach to implementing the 'test, trace, isolate, supportstrategy. It is a public health measure designed to break chains of transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community.

It will help us prepare for the next phases set out in the route map, where we are better able to identify where the infection is, so that society and the economy can avoid a return to lockdown and adapt to a new normal.  

There is specific advice available for employers on helping staff who need to self-isolate at home.


First published: 31 Aug 2020 Last updated: 31 Aug 2020 -