Safe Trading Guidance

Helping you to trade safely during this temporary lockdown.


On Tuesday 5 January, Dumfries & Galloway, along with the rest of mainland Scotland moved from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes.

Permitted to be open

Only the following retail premises are permitted to be open during the current lockdown:

  • food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops
  • off-licences and licensed shops selling alcohol (including breweries)
  • pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists
  • newsagents
  • building merchants and suppliers of products and tools used in building work and repairs
  • petrol stations
  • car repair and MOT services
  • bicycle shops
  • taxi or vehicle hire businesses
  • banks, building societies, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs, cash points and undertakings which by way of business operate a currency exchange office, transmit money (or any representation of money) by any means or cash cheques which are made payable to customers
  • post offices
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody services, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health
  • veterinary surgeons and pet shops
  • agricultural supplies shops and agricultural markets
  • storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off or collection points, where the facilities are in the premises of a business included in this sub-paragraph
  • car parks
  • public toilets
  • livestock markets or auctions
  • outdoor markets, and outdoor car lots

Businesses which are allowed to stay open will be expected to follow all other legal requirements, rules and guidance.

The Scottish Government's route map indicates the conditions under which businesses can start to open again. Parliamentary announcements will be made when each phase is reached and what this means for the public and people in business. The Scottish Government has also produced a Strategic Framework setting out their strategic approach to suppress the virus to the lowest possible level and keep it there, while striving to return to a more normal life for as many people as possible.

The Scottish Government have published guidance for specific business sectors which is updated regularly. This sits alongside, and will be consistent with, the UK Government's Working Safely during Coronavirus publications.

Advice and enforcement of the COVID-19 legislative powers is shared between the Council, Police Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Physical Distancing

The default position on physical distancing is currently 2 metres, with a 1 metre distance permitted on public transport and in hospitality premises.

A person responsible for carrying on a business or providing a service has a legal responsibility to put measures in place to ensure that a 2 metres distance is maintained between everyone on the premises.

Face Coverings

It is now mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport, including public transport premises, such as airports, train and bus stations, and in retail premises.

It is also mandatory to wear a face covering in:

  • Shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs
  • Any indoor place where a marriage ceremony or civil partnership registration is taking place
  • Aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms
  • Banks, building societies and credit unions
  • Cinemas
  • Community centres
  • Crematoriums and funeral directors premises
  • Indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites
  • Libraries and public reading rooms
  • Museums and galleries
  • Places of worship
  • Post offices
  • Storage and distribution facilities, including collection and drop off points
  • Amusement arcades and other indoor leisure facilities
  • Bingo halls
  • Bowling alleys
  • Casinos
  • Indoor funfairs
  • Indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres
  • Indoor skating rinks

A face covering can be a covering of any type, except a face shield, that covers the mouth and nose.

The Scottish Government Guidance on wearing face coverings can be found at:

Face covering exemptions

Some people are not required to wear a face covering.

These include:

  • children under 5 years of age
  • children on a school transport service
  • police constables or emergency responders acting in the course of their duty 
  • staff such as drivers or checkout assistants who are physically separated, by means of, for example, screens, from passengers or customers
  • shop workers if they maintain a 2 metre distance from customers or members of the public
  • persons on a ferry where that part of the ferry which is open to the public is entirely outdoors, or a distance of 2 metres can be maintained

You may also have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering if, for example:

  • you have a health condition or you are disabled and a face covering would be inappropriate because it would cause difficulty, pain or severe distress or anxiety or because you cannot apply a covering and wear it in the proper manner safely and consistently. Individual discretion should be applied in considering the use of face coverings for other children including, for example, children with breathing difficulties and disabled children who would struggle to wear a face covering
  • you are seeking medical assistance
  • you need to avoid injury, illness or to escape a risk of harm
  • you are providing care or assistance to a vulnerable person
  • you need to eat or drink
  • you are taking medication
  • you are communicating with someone else who relies on lip reading
  • a relevant person, such as a police officer, asks you to remove your face covering
  • you are undertaking food handling tasks, to avoid risk to the hygiene or safety of food

Below is a printout that you can download , and wear as a badge or carry with you if you are exempt:

Those exempt under the guidance and regulations do not have to prove their exemption. We ask for people to be aware of the exemptions and to treat each other with kindness.

Further advice

The Council is responsible for retail, wholesale distribution and warehousing, hotel and catering premises, offices, and the consumer/leisure industries. Police Scotland will refer all complaints and enquiries of this nature to the council unless an urgent response is required outside normal working hours. If you need advice on the steps you need to take to ensure you are safe to open the please contact or call 01387 245918.

HSE is the regulator for other premises including manufacturing, construction, waste and sites subject to major hazards legislation.

Healthy Working Lives

Healthy Working Lives is a free service run by Public Health Scotland for any businesses or organisation in Scotland to provide free support on a range of health topics.  This support is provided via a website, telephone adviceline and local advisers. Healthy Working Lives offer a range of free business tools, resources and training to help improve staff health and wellbeing these include:

  • Policy Templates
  • Risk Assessments
  • Covid 19 - business support
  • Staff Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Health Risks
  • Health Improvement

For more information please contact the Dumfries & Galloway local Adviser Richard Smith, call 07941 554291 or visit