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.

Key dates

Note: all of the following changes are subject to relevant public health guidance.

The following are confirmed dates

With effect from Saturday 1 August

  • ¬∑Shielding will be paused

With effect from Monday 3 August

  • Relax certain restrictions on some support groups and services and for sports coaches - once relevant guidance is implemented.
    For example:
    • Non-NHS drug and alcohol support groups can provide essential services following relevant guidance and with physical distancing
    • Relax restrictions on daily household limits for sports coaching - once relevant guidance is in place
  • Routine eye care services can be provided within community optometry practices premises and in patients' own homes

With effect from Tuesday 11 August

  • Schools - children to be able to return to school full time. Expect a phased return over the first week with all children back by 18 August

With effect from Monday 17 August

  • Urgent dental care involving aerosols can begin to be provided in practices for NHS patients

The following are indicative dates only - conditional on 20 August review

With effect from Monday 24 August

  • Live events (outdoors) with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and restricted numbers following relevant guidance
  • Organised outdoor contact sports can resume for all ages, following the guidance of relevant sports bodies
  • Snooker/ pool halls and indoor bowling facilities can re-open - following guidance
  • Bingo halls can re-open with physical distancing and following guidance
  • Driving lessons can resume - following guidance
  • Amusement arcades and casinos can re-open following guidance including enhanced hygiene
  • Funfairs - both static and travelling - can re-open subject to relevant guidance

The following are indicative dates only - conditional on 10 September review

With effect from Monday 14 September

  • Live events (indoors) with physical distancing and restricted numbers - following guidance
  • Other indoor entertainment venues (e.g. theatres, live music/concert venues) following guidance such as with physical distancing requirements. Note that this does not include nightclubs - we are unable to give a date for re-opening nightclubs at present, but we will engage with the sector and consider further at the next review
  • Gyms (indoor) can re-open following relevant guidance including on physical distancing and enhanced hygiene. We will keep this under review to consider whether an earlier re-opening date is feasible
  • Swimming pools (indoor) can re-open following relevant guidance. We will keep this under review to consider whether an earlier re-opening date is feasible
  • Indoor sport courts can re-open with physical distancing and subject to relevant guidance, including skating and dance studios. We will review whether indoor classes for children can resume earlier or an earlier re-opening date is feasible
  • Indoor soft play facilities can re-open following guidance, including enhanced hygiene
  • Stadia (limited re-opening) - following guidance (e.g. physical distancing, restricted numbers) with tests for safe re-opening possible at earlier dates where agreed with the Scottish Government

Not before 11 September - awaiting further review.

  • Non-essential offices and call centres can re-open following implementation of relevant guidance (including on physical distancing). Working from home and working flexibly remain the default

Scottish Government Route Map

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
  • Retail (including personal retail services)

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

Mitigating measures to allow a reduction to 1 metre distancing in hospitality settings can be found here:

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.

From Friday 8 August it will also be mandatory to wear a face covering in:-

  • Aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms
  • Banks, building societies and credit unions
  • Cinemas
  • Community centres
  • Crematoriums and funeral directors premises
  • Libraries and public reading rooms
  • Museums and galleries
  • Places of worship
  • Post offices
  • Storage and distribution facilities, including collection and drop off points

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:

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: