Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland's route map - what you can and cannot do

Information about easing the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland's route map - what you can and cannot do
Work and business

Work and business

Should people still be working from home if they can? 

Everyone who can work from home should continue to do so. Any change to that advice will be guided by scientific evidence. Non-essential workplaces should remain closed until the relevant Phase in the Route Map. Even if your workplace is open, if you are able to work from home then please continue to do so.

What is an essential workplace?

Essential services are the fundamental provision that underpin daily life and ensure the country continues to function through the crisis.

They relate closely to the critical national infrastructure sectors, such as food, energy and emergency services. Not every workplace within these sectors is essential and many people within these sectors can continue to work from home and should do so where they can.

Essential workplaces are those providing essential services that must stay open during the crisis to function. This business and physical distancing guide gives more details. 

When do you see different sectors being able to reopen?

The route map sets out when different types of work and workplaces are likely to get back up and running.

These are not sector-wide because individual businesses and workplaces will need to meet certain conditions, and so we are working with industry, unions and stakeholders on how to best do this safely.

As we move through the route map, we will continually review guidance in line with latest scientific advice.

What about retail?

All  street-access retail and outdoor markets can reopen with physical distancing, and subject to relevant guidance. The wearing of face coverings for customers in shops will become mandatory from 10 July. For staff, many will also have to wear coverings when customers are in the shop unless there are other protective measures in place such as physical distancing and Perspex screens although we strongly recommend that face coverings are worn even if there is no legal requirement.

When can I visit my hairdresser?

From 15 July hairdressers and barbers will be able to reopen with appropriate distancing and enhanced hygiene measures in place. Comprehensive guidance is being published as part of the retail guidance which includes measures such as use of Perspex screens, mandatory face coverings, cleaning and using a booking system

What about beauty salons, spas and make-up counters?

Beauticians, nail salons, spas and make-up counters have been given an indicative opening date of 22 July subject to physical distancing and enhanced hygiene measures. Other personal retail services that require close contact with customers and have an indicative opening date of 22 July, subject to current and future guidance, include:

  • hairdressers and barbers
  • spas
  • sunbed salons
  • tattoo artists
  • indoor photography studios
  • tailors
  • shoe fitters
  • specialist close contact counters such as make-up counters

Current guidance can be found:

When will museums, galleries, cinemas and libraries be reopened?

Museums, galleries, libraries and cinemas – including drive-ins and other venues screening films – can reopen on 15 July although physical distancing will be required and for many facilities tickets should be secured in advance.

When can estate agents reopen?

Estate agents can continue to support clients in the marketing of properties and can now open premises for business. They should consider how and when to reopen their premises and follow the guidance for businesses and employers. Estate agents should inform customers and their own staff about their safer working procedures in order to minimise the public health risk as far as possible.

When can I put my house on the market and move house?

From 29 June, you are allowed to leave home in order to undertake certain activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property which include:

  • visiting estate or letting agents
  • developer sales offices or show homes
  • viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or rent
  • preparing a residential property to move in
  • moving home
  • visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property

This allows people working for relevant organisations and businesses to travel to work where necessary in order to undertake these activities in a safe manner. A key change is that a home move will no longer have to be reasonably necessary, home moves will be permitted. Everyone should still comply with the physical distancing and health guidelines. We have issued revised guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on moving home  

First published: 14 Jul 2020 Last updated: 28 Jul 2020 -