Coronavirus: Scottish Government issues reopening guidance

Measures for customers and staff laid out in new online document

pint pouring

THE Scottish Government has issued official guidance for tourism and hospitality businesses preparing to reopen in line with health and safety requirements.

The document, which is available at covers the measures operators will be required to take in order to reopen their venues.

The Scottish Government has given a provisional date of July 15 for the reopening of venues, with a decision on outdoor areas to be taken on or around July 2.

The guidance requires all businesses to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, linking to a section of the Health & Safety Executive website which provides a template. Guidance for operators is also available at the UK Hospitality website.

The Scottish Government document advises businesses to create “a re-start plan that incorporates your physical distancing and hygiene solutions, and identifies what work is required to be carried out before a restart e.g. screens, one-way systems, two metre zones, staff room, PPE provision (if required or advised), hand sanitisers etc”.

A checklist included in the guidance encourages business owners to: use tape to mark two-metre distances on floors; use signage to communicate “key health and safety points” such as hygiene and social distancing; limit customer numbers in order to facilitate social distancing; introduce one-way entrance and exit points if possible; review layouts to allow employees and customers to work and stand further apart; consider the use of screens if two-metre distancing is not possible; encourage the use of contactless payment where possible; provide hand sanitiser for customers at entry and also for employees to use during their shifts; and draw up schedules for the frequent cleaning of work areas and staff rooms.

The full checklist can be viewed here.

Further guidance will be published on the safe use of toilet facilities as this “is still subject to further scientific advice on impacts and risks”.

Separate guidance has been issued for hospitality and tourism customers, which encourages them to follow any instructions given by venues and staff, keep their hands clean and observe social distancing.

Customers are also encouraged to “be courteous and understand that staff are working in challenging circumstances”.

That guidance can be viewed at 

Willie Macleod, executive director for Scotland at UK Hospitality, said the guidance for operators was “heartening”.

“[It] should provide an end to many of the uncertainties which have persisted over recent weeks for businesses that have been hit very hard by this crisis, and allow planning to get underway for re-opening,” said Macleod.

“The importance of the hospitality sector to Scotland’s economy cannot be denied. Hospitality is the mainstay of the country’s tourism industry and plays a vital role socially as well as economically. Re-opening will be critical in helping the country get back up and running.

“We are naturally very pleased that the Scottish Government has also included a link to UK Hospitality’s guidelines which are available to the entire sector.”