Operational guide and checklist

This section of the guidance provides a usable guide for businesses to follow to ensure that they have made sufficient provisions for the health and safety of their staff and customers.

We have provided a checklist for businesses as an annex to this guidance

The actions specified in the checklist should be fully considered and implemented, where relevant, as part of procedures and should be considered by managers, health and safety officers, small business owners and sole traders.


We have published guidance on the safe use of toilets. This should be considered by each business and included in their risk assessment work and preparations for safe reopening.

Guidance for businesses preparing food

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has designed COVID-19 guidance to supplement its general guidance for consumers and food businesses. It adapts our ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): business and physical distancing guidance’ and the advice published by Health Protection Scotland for Non-Healthcare settings for application in food settings. This guidance also takes account of guidelines produced by the food industry on practical ways to provide a safe working environment at this time. Food Standards Scotland has also produced supporting resources, including self-assessment tools and a summary checklist, for food business operations during COVID-19.

Hospitality businesses with queries or concerns regarding food safety practices in their premises should contact their local authority environmental health department for advice.

Guidance for customers

Whilst the majority of customers will take care and pay attention at this difficult time, there may be instances where guidance is not being followed. The Scottish Government will reinforce the message that customers have a strong role to play in ensuring that businesses are able to provide the public with a service while also protecting their employees and customers. We have, therefore, published tourism and hospitality customer guidance. You should however consider what action you will take in the event guidance and instructions are not being adhered to. This is covered under the checklist.

Early supplier engagement

As part of preparations, we recommend early engagement with suppliers to understand order windows. This will also help establish how well-placed suppliers are to provide inputs at the level required to meet businesses’ expected demand as they re-open. This should include considering any additional logistical issues associated with the current functioning of supply networks.

Where relevant, businesses should also consider as part of their risk assessment, issues around the safe management of deliveries.

COVID-19 or other illness on the premises

In the event that a guest develops symptoms whilst staying away from home, they should immediately book a test through NHS Inform or, if they can’t get online. by phoning 0800 028 2816.

In accordance with Test and Protect, people with symptoms are required to self-isolate for 10 days, and everyone in their household should isolate for 10 days. If the test is negative, everyone can end isolation. If the test is positive, everyone should continue to isolate, and the NHS Test and Protect team will be in touch to start contact tracing. Those contacted through the Test and Protect programme will be required to self-isolate for at least 10 days. 

If guests who are isolating can travel home safely to isolate, avoiding the use of public transport, they should do this. 

In the event that this is not possible, the guest should discuss this with the NHS Test and Protect team. The guest may be signposted to the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000 if they need help to isolate and cannot arrange it themselves or through friends and family.

In some circumstances further discussion may be required with the local Health Protection Team and local authority to ensure that the person has suitable accommodation to isolate safely and effectively.

After the required period of self-isolation, guests and anyone else in their party who has been affected can then return to their main place of residence.

Non-coronavirus illness

If visitors become unwell (with non-coronavirus symptoms) while on holiday in Scotland, they should refer to the NHS inform website for self-management advice, information about medical services available locally, and other information about how they can access services. Depending on the nature of the illness a number of different services are available.

Local community pharmacies are a very useful first stop for any health advice, treatment of minor ailments or injuries. If necessary patients can also be seen as a temporary resident by the local GP practice. Please phone the GP practice first before attending.  If you need to be seen by a doctor or another member of the team e.g. a practice nurse, the practice may offer you a telephone consultation or a video consultation. Depending on the problem they might advise you to attend the local Minor Injury Unit or Emergency/ Accident and Emergency department. 

If you are visiting from another part of the UK, you may also be able to contact your own GP practice who may be able to offer you a telephone or video consultation, depending on the nature of the problem. 

If the medical issue occurs “out of hours” after 6 pm in the evening to 8 am in the morning and over the weekends, and is not an emergency, then please call 111 for advice. They will put you in touch with the local out of hours GP service if necessary. 

In an emergency (for example suspected heart attack or stroke, breathing difficulties or severe bleeding) patients should dial 999 which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 




Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

First published: 16 Apr 2021 Last updated: 14 May 2021 -