Safe trading guidance

On 21 May 2020, Scottish Government published Scotland's route map out of the Coronavirus crisis which describes each phase of easing the lockdown.


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 published guidance for specific sectors which is updated regularly. This sits alongside, and will be consistent with, the UK Government's Working Safely during Coronavirus publications. Scottish Government regularly updates advice on what you can and cannot do.

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

Scotland moved to Phase 3 of the Routemap on 10 July 2020.

Scottish Government Route Map

COVID-19 Protection Levels

Physical Distancing

The default position on physical distancing during Phase 3 will remain as 2 metres.

The Scottish Government at present, consider the following sectors and settings appropriate for exceptions to the 2 metres rule. As noted, this is not a blanket exemption for each sector; individual settings must implement agreed mitigations to qualify for the exception:

  • Public Transport
  • Outdoor hospitality
  • Indoor hospitality

In these settings a minimum distance of 1 metre between households must be maintained.

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. This applies to open air train stations, but not to bus stops) 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 and should not be made to wear a face covering or denied access to public transport, shops or public places. 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.

Useful links

FSS has updated their COVID-19 guidance, risk assessment tool and checklist which have now been published at the link below:

They have also refreshed their Q&A for consumers and businesses:

The Scottish Government have published a set of FAQs for hospitality businesses in light of recent changes to requirements: