17th December 2021

Following on from updates by the First Minister, new guidance and regulations for businesses regarding COVID-19 have been published on the Scottish Government website. These will come into force as of Friday 17 December.

We would urge you to read the guidance in full and to understand what the specific requirements are (if any) on businesses in your sector. We have endeavoured to summarise the key points below.

All Businesses

Mandatory Measures

  • Wear a face covering – face coverings are mandatory in most indoor spaces including workplaces, communal areas, and public transport. Some exemptions apply
  • Work from home – where it is reasonably practicable for a person to work from home, they should do so, especially if they are in a role that was able to be done at home at the start of the pandemic. Further guidance on working from home is available
  • Self-isolation – anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 or has been identified as a close contact of a positive case should self-isolate immediately.
  • Take reasonable measures to minimise the spread of COVID. This could include:
    • changing the layout of premises including the location of furniture and workstations;
    • controlling the use of entrances, passageways, stairs and lifts;
    • controlling the use of shared facilities such as toilets and kitchens;
    • installing barriers or screens;
    • providing or requiring the use of personal protective equipment;
    • providing information on minimisation of risk to those working in or visiting the workplace

A range of additional advisory and precautionary measures are also suggested.

Sector Specific

Hospitality – Mandatory Measures

  • Collection of contact details from all customers
  • Follow local licensing laws
  • For premises where the COVID Certification Scheme applies, follow all relevant guidance for this
  • Take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission. The guidance for tourism and hospitality suggests some of the following measures:
    • Queue management – manage pinch points, ensure customers have adequate space to queue apart
    • Ordering systems – allow customers to order via apps or at designated ordering points
    • One-way systems – introduce or reintroduce a one-way system within the premises
    • Table service – consider whether reverting to table service is practical
    • Use of screens – use screens between tables and/or at service points
    • Capacity management – consider whether peak times and be made safer e.g. by ticketing peak festive opening

Note that the Scottish Government guidance makes clear that it is for each premises to determine what is practically and operationally possible for their own setting with regards to the guidance on reasonable measures.

Cultural venues, stadia and live events – Mandatory Measures

Note that while there are no restrictions remaining on how many people may attend significant life or milestone events, they must still comply with all other precautionary measures that are listed in the Staying safe and protecting others guidance

An operational checklist for the culture/events sector can be downloaded from the Scottish Government website

Retail – Mandatory Measures

  • Enhanced mitigations should be put in place, such as:
    • Control the flows of customers entering/exiting and in-store – where possible use separate entrance and exits
    • Maintain hygiene stations and enhanced cleaning measures throughout stores
    • Use tannoy systems, floor markings, and queue management systems to help people keep a safe distance from each other
    • Promote the use of face coverings
    • Use screens to create a physical barrier
    • Maximise fresh air coming into the premises

An operational checklist for retailers can be downloaded from the Scottish Government website

Working in other people’s homes – Mandatory Measures

  • Workers should take an LFD test on the day prior to entering into any homes
  • Householders should also take an LFD test prior to the visit
  • Staff should not enter homes where anyone is self-isolating, unless the work is essential or an emergency
  • Risk assessments should take COVID into account
  • Staff should wear a face covering, especially when moving through the home
  • Ventilation of the home or workspace should be maximised
  • Workers should try to keep a reasonable distance from individuals in the household
  • Consider relevant guidance when travelling to/from the work location

For all sectors, additional guidance has been provided on additional advisory measures that workplaces could take.

We appreciate that there is a significant amount of additional guidance for businesses to read and a limited amount of time given for this to be implemented. If the Chamber can help with any queries or clarifications over the coming days, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

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