Reopening Update for Scottish Businesses

Blogs 23 Apr 2021

What local businesses need to know ahead of re-opening

From Monday 26 April Scotland a wide range of businesses – from retail to hospitality – can reopen. Our top tips are a good place to start for businesses preparing to trade again.

In recent days the Scottish Government has published updated guidance. This has caused some confusion for businesses. Here’s our summary of what’s changed, and what’s not. 

  • Physical distancing remains one of the most important measures you need to take but the rules on distancing within premises haven’t changed.  2m is still the standard requirement in most premises while it’s 1m in some (like hospitality). If you were operating according to these distancing rules before Christmas, then you don’t need to change your operating model.
  • There is a new requirement (from 17 May) to work out the maximum number of people you can have in your premises. You may already have done this based on physical distancing. In which case, you don’t need to change your calculation (but make sure you include all persons, including staff, on the premises).

    If you haven’t done this before, then you should now work out the maximum capacity for your premises based on ensuring staff, customers and/or other visitors can adhere to the required physical distancing at all times. If you’re not sure where to start, the Scottish Government has new guidance on how to calculate maximum capacity.
  • Similarly, another new requirement is to display this maximum capacity number at the entrance to your premises – as long as it’s clear and easy to read, a handwritten sign in your door/window will be fine.
  • The final change relates to the customer contact information some businesses (mainly hospitality and close contact) collect. If your business has to collect customer information, then it is now strongly recommended that you collect information from *every* person coming into your premises, rather just the lead party for each household. There’s a new app that can help businesses do this:
  • The most important rules about physical distancing, cleaning and ventilation remain the same. If you’re worried you’re missing something, one useful tip is to use the easy-read checklists which can usually be downloaded from the same webpage as the government sector guides (click on the Word document icon). While not all the measures will be applicable to all small businesses, this self-assessment compliance tool also provides a comprehensive list of things to consider for workplaces. 
  • Lastly, the Scottish Government has produced material, such as posters, which you can download to use in your premises.

Good luck to all the small businesses reopening next week!

*Correct as of 23 April 2021

Meet the author

Susan Love

Susan Love

Head of External Affairs (Scotland)