Visiting shops and hospitality

Latest information 

On Monday 17 May Aberdeen will move to level 2 restrictions:  

  • Up to eight adults from eight different households can meet up outdoors, children under-12 do not need to be counted for either the total number of people or the household limit.  
  • Indoor hospitality can resume – customers must book a two-hour time slot. Table service only and alcoholic drinks can be served – close at 22.30 for groups of up to six people from up to three households. Contact details still need to be collected and customers must maintain one-metre social distancing.   
  • Cinemas, bingo halls and amusement arcades can reopen, but soft play, funfairs, indoor bowling, snooker halls, nightclubs and adult entertainment remain closed. 
  •  Mobile close contact services such as hairdressers, barbers and beauticians can operate. 
  • Adult outdoor contact sports and indoor group exercises can resume.  
  • Outdoor and indoor events such as concerts can restart, but with limited capacity.   
  • A new traffic light system for international travel will come into operation. Countries are to be classified as green, amber, and red. A review will take place every four weeks. A passenger locator form is necessary plus pre-departure testing for travellers to foreign destinations in the green zone. They will have to take a PCR test but not have to quarantine on their return.  

View the latest guidance from the Scottish Government.

If you would like advice and information about the current restrictions or the timeline for the re-opening of the economy, please contact the Protective Services Team using our online form. 

If you have any concerns about people gathering in public or not wearing face coverings in shops and on public transport, please contact Police Scotland on 101. 

Social media

For the latest news from Aberdeen Trading Standards visit the Trading Standards Twitter page.

The Protect Scotland app 

The Protect Scotland app is now available. The Scottish Government is urging all smartphone users across Scotland to download NHS Scotland’s new contact tracing app to help suppress the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It lets people know if they have been in close contact with someone who later tests positive. It can be downloaded for free onto a smart phone from Apple's App Store or Google Play.  

Supported by a dedicated Protect Scotland website,  the app is an extra tool complementing existing person-to-person contact tracing which remains the main component of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system.  

Coronavirus tests 

A PCR test for coronavirus is available to anyone who is showing symptoms – a high temperature, new, continuous cough or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste.

From Monday 26 April rapid lateral flow tests will also be available for anyone in Scotland. Test kits can be ordered by post. 

View information from the Scottish Government regarding Coronavirus testing. 


Coronavirus vaccinations are now under way in Aberdeen and across Scotland. For more information see our vaccination page.

Visiting shops 

Whilst retailers will implement procedures to ensure the safety of customers and staff it is an individual’s responsibility to ensure they comply with the following guidance: do not visit any retail premises if you have tested positive or have developed any of the COVID-19 symptoms 

  • you must wear a face covering when you go into any retail premises including any indoor area of a shopping centre, unless exempt.  
  • you must follow direction signs, one-way systems and shop capacities if provided by a retail outlet 
  • maintain a 2-metre physical distance between people not in your household (or extended household) 
  • adults, unless accompanying by a vulnerable person or children under 18, should shop alone, where possible.

In order to keep transmission rates as low as possible you are also advised to: 

  • avoid crowded shops. Try to avoid times when shops will be busy. If you do not think you can maintain social distancing in a shop, come back later. 
  • visit stores that are using infection control measures and use the available hand sanitiser 
  • try to avoid touching goods unless you intend to buy them 
  • be polite. Please ensure that you are considerate to retail staff and abide by their guidance and instructions including removing face covering if requested for proof of age. 
  • shop local and do not travel further than necessary to visit stores 
  • be patient – shopping may take longer than you may be used to and you may need to queue for longer as a result. Please do not smoke when queuing outside shops. 
  • only use public transport for essential shopping where it is not possible in your local council area – you should use on-line shopping or shops, banks and other services in your local area wherever you can.  

Mandatory face coverings 

A face-covering can be any covering of the mouth and nose that is made of cloth or other textiles and through which you can breathe. 
Religious face-coverings that cover the mouth and the nose count as face coverings for these purposes. 

A face visor on its own is no longer considered to be a face-covering and so if one is worn, a face covering (as above) must also be worn.

View the advice from the Scottish Government regarding face coverings and exemptions.

The collection of customer and visitor details 

“Check in Scotland” 

Many businesses and venues collect contact details for all visitors. Check in Scotland will allow you to log your contact details with any business or venue displaying the Check in Scotland Test and Protect QR code poster. 

This includes: 

  • pubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes 

  • tourism and leisure businesses, such as theme parks, museums, and cinemas 

  • close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists 

  • services run by local councils, 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 

Check in Scotland works with NHS Scotland's Test and Protect contact tracing system to: 

  • collect your details. 

  • alert you if you came into close contact with someone at a business or venue who later tests positive for COVID-19 

View more information regarding “Check In Scotland

What are the physical distancing requirements that businesses are required to put in place?  

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 under 12 years old)
  • 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

The required distance

For some premises known as ‘reduced distance premises’ it is at least 1m whilst for all other premises it is 2m. 

Reduced distance premises are:

  • Passenger transport service premises (bus stations, train stations, etc);
  • Restaurants, cafes, bars, and pubs.  

A business can move to the reduced 1m distance only if it has ‘mitigation measures’ in place.  

Remember that some people, for example, those with sight loss, autism, learning disabilities, dementia or other communication or mobility needs might find physical distancing rules more difficult to follow than others. Please be considerate by giving way when you’re out and about. 

Premises used for retail sale or hire of goods (shops) must ensure 2 metre physical distancing and reintroduce the mitigations they had in place earlier in the pandemic.


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