Covid-19 – Regulations
Throughout the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, our priority is to protect public health, while providing support and advice to businesses across Aberdeen City.
The UK Government and the Scottish Government have agreed on regulations and emergency restrictions. The legislation that has been passed in Scotland is The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2020.
The Council is the main regulator for retail, wholesale distribution and warehousing, hotel and catering premises, offices, and the consumer/leisure industries, including the requirements of physical distancing on these premises. We will be publishing information about what the new measures mean for businesses on this page in response to evolving government guidance.
Trading Standards Officers and Environmental Health Officers from the Protective Services team have been striving to make sure that local businesses are complying with the legal requirements in the regulations. These requirements relate to the opening and closure of business premises and to the physical distancing measures that should be put in place.
Job Support Scheme
The UK Government has today (Thursday 24 September) announced a new Jobs Support Scheme to replace the furlough scheme.
More information can be found in our Frequently Asked Questions.
Businesses in Scotland which remain closed
The following businesses and premises must remain closed. This reflects regulations that are in force.
soft play centres
indoor theatres and concert halls – blood donation sessions can be held at these venues
These businesses and venues must remain closed as they involve prolonged close social contact, which increases the chance of infection spreading.
Physical distancing for business, services, and places of worship
All businesses, services and places of worship must take measures to ensure, where reasonably practicable
- The required distance is maintained between any persons on the premises (except for members of the same household or persons and their carers or between school pupils)
- They only admit people in sufficiently small numbers to make the required distance possible
- The required distance in any queue to enter the premises is maintained
Other measures need to be taken to minimise the covid-19 risk including:
- changing the layout
- controlling use of entrances or shared facilities
- installing screens
- use of PPE and signage
The required distance
For some premises known as ‘reduced distance premises’, it is at least 1m whilst for all other premises, it is 2m.
And reduced distance premises are:
- Passenger transport service premises (bus stations, train stations, etc);
- Premises used for the retail sale or hire of goods (i.e. shops) and including restaurants, cafes, bars, and pubs.
A business can move to the reduced 1m distance only if it has ‘mitigation measures’ in place.
The mandatory collection of customer and visitor details in hospitality businesses
From Friday 14 August new regulations make it mandatory for restaurants, cafes, bars, public houses and hotels in which food or drink is sold for consumption on the premises, to take measures to:
- obtain and record visitor information,
- record visitor information in a filing system suitable for recording, storing and retrieving such information,
- retain visitor information for at least 21 days from the date on which the visit occurred.
They must collect
- the name and telephone number of one member of each household visiting the premises,
- the date of their visit and arrival and departure times,
- together with a note of the number of any members of that person’s household visiting the premises at the same time.
They must provide the visitor information to a public health officer, as soon as reasonably practicable but within 24 hours of it being requested.
It is a criminal offence not to comply with these regulations.
The Scottish Government have published guidance on the collection of customer details.
The requirement to collect customer and visitor details in other premises
So that the test and protect system can function as effectively as possible the following services should continue to follow guidance from the Scottish Government and collect and store customer details:
- Tourism and leisure, including theme parks, museums, and cinemas
- Close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors, and fashion designers
- Facilities provided by local authorities, such as libraries, leisure centres, and registration offices
- Cremation authorities, burial authorities, places of worship or funeral director service rooms offering funeral services
- Places of worship which are reopening for congregational services and communal prayer or contemplation
The requirements do not apply where services are taken off-site immediately, for example, a library operating a click-and-collect service or a food outlet that only provides takeaways. If premises offer a mixture of an on-site and collection service, contact information only needs to be collected for customers who remain on-site.
Exemption to the required 2 metre physical distance rules in hospitality premises
The Scottish Government has issued new statutory guidance relating to indoor hospitality. Hospitality businesses must have regard to this guidance. The aim is to ensure greater compliance with some of the key public health measures – such as physical distancing. Police Scotland and the local Protective Services team will, if necessary, enforce compliance with these measures.
Hospitality services, such as pubs, restaurants, and cafes may operate within the reduced 1m physical distance rules. If they do, they must ensure that there are additional mitigating measures in place to reduce the risks of operating at 1m as opposed to 2m.
- Hospitality businesses must be closed at 10pm
- There must be clear signage displayed at entry points and throughout the premises to inform customers that they are within a 1 metre physical distancing zone.
- Premises must collect and keep customer details. (see the Mandatory Collection of Customer Details above)
- Wherever possible, people should pre-book tables in advance. And there should be no queueing.
- People should be seated, with table service.
- Customers should not be standing together to watch football, dancing, or queuing at the bar.
- There should be no queueing outside. If it is unavoidable for any reason, those in queues should be physically distanced.
- There should be no background music – or volume from the TV. To ensure that people do not have to shout or lean into each other to be heard.
- Face coverings are mandatory for customers and staff in indoor hospitality. There will be an exemption for when customers are eating and drinking. Staff in non-public facing roles, such as kitchen staff, are also exempt where face coverings may present health and safety issues due to the nature of roles. Exemptions for vulnerable groups/individuals also apply.
Trading Standards and Environmental Health officers from the Protective Services team will be employing a robust enforcement approach.
Officers will be visiting hospitality businesses during busy periods and will take immediate action if it is required.
- Prohibition Notices may be issued to the business under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations or the Health & Safety at Work Etc Act.
- Fixed Penalty Notices may be issued by officers from Police Scotland
- A report may be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.
- We may object to Occasional Licences.
- We may recommend that any permissions to use public spaces are revoked.
- We may instigate a Public Health Review of the Licence.
Guidance for Business
The Scottish Government has published guidance for the following sectors:
- Forestry and Environmental management activities
- Farmers and Crofters
- Tourism and hospitality
- Small and micro businesses
- Cinemas and drive-in cinemas
- The Events sector
- Swimming Pools
- Fitness Centres/Gyms
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