Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 1: staying at home and away from others (physical distancing)

Rules on staying at home and away from others to help protect the NHS and save lives.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 1: staying at home and away from others (physical distancing)
Closing certain businesses and venues

Closing certain businesses and venues

To reduce physical contact, the Scottish Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. These include: 

  • pubs, cinemas and theatres
  • most retail stores selling non-essential goods - this includes clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets and livestock markets
  • libraries, community centres, and youth centres
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities
  • communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts (except outdoor tennis courts and bowling greens)  and outdoor gyms
  • places of worship, except for funerals attended by close family or other members of the person’s household hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use, excluding permanent residents, key workers and those providing emergency accommodation, for example for the homeless 

However, holiday accommodation services may take bookings online, by phone or by post, for future dates when they are no longer closed.

From 29 May 2020, garden centres and plant nurseries can reopen (with physical distancing).

More detailed information and exemptions can be found at Coronavirus: business and physical distancing guidance. This includes the list of those businesses and other venues that must close.  

All businesses that are not required by law to close should look critically at their role and operations and must ensure that they take all reasonable measures to ensure that their employees stay 2 metres from each other. 

Businesses must also ensure that they admit people into their premises in sufficiently small numbers to maintain a 2 metre distance and take steps to ensure that distance can also be maintained by people (e.g. customers) waiting to enter their premises.

Advice from the Chief Medical Officer is that all non-essential business sectors should remain closed unless and until we can all be clear how operations can be undertaken safely and in a way that is fully compliant with physical distancing.

As such we would advise that all business premises, sites and attractions not required by law to close should remain closed unless:

  • essential to the health and welfare of the country during this crisis (as defined below); or
  • supporting (or being repurposed to support) essential services; or
  • wider public health, health and safety or other considerations apply and require a facility or service to continue to operate  or a specific period of time for a safe shutdown process to be completed; or
  • able to reopen in phase 1 of the route map for moving out of lockdown; and
  • apart from in exceptional circumstances critical to lives and safety, capable of working in a way which is fully consistent with established physical distancing advice