The 2 metre distancing rule in businesses has now been strengthened in Scotland. This follows Royal assent of the Coronavirus Act which was passed in the Scottish Parliament and its review after 3 weeks. The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2020
Every person in Scotland must comply with these new measures, which came into effect on 26 March 2020 and were revised on 21 April 2020, primarily to formalise social distancing requirements for all businesses which remain open during the emergency period.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): business and social distancing guidance
The Scottish Government advises that all business premises, sites and attractions not required by law to close should close now unless:
- essential to the health and welfare of the country during this crisis or
- supporting (or being repurposed to support) essential services; or
- wider public health, health and safety or other considerations apply and require a facility or service to continue to operate or a specific period of time for a safe shutdown process to be completed; and
- apart from in exceptional circumstances critical to lives and safety, capable of working in a way which is fully consistent with established social distancing advice.
Other businesses are not compelled to close. Also businesses which can continue to operate such as:
- tradespeople carrying out repairs in homes
- window cleaners
- takeaway and delivery services
- funeral services & burial grounds
- livestock markets
- money advice services
- online holiday bookings for future dates
Retail and public premises which the Scottish Government expect to remain open must:
- ensure a distance of two metres between customers, and between customers and shop assistants; and take equivalent measures to protect their workforce consistent with fair work principles;
- let people enter the shop only in small numbers, to ensure that spaces are not crowded.
- ensure queue control consistent with social distancing advice outside of shops and other essential premises that remain open.
Social Distancing Guidance
Coronavirus (COVID-19): staying at home and away from others (social distancing)
You should only leave the house for very limited purposes, for example:
- for basic necessities, such as food and medicine. Trips must be as infrequent as possible
- daily exercise, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
- to ensure basic animal welfare needs are met, including taking dogs out when necessary
- any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home
These measures must be followed by everyone.
There are several exceptions to this guidance:
- for parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.
- travelling to work if you cannot work from home
- taking children to/from childcare or school provision
- moving house
- leaving home to maintain your physical and mental health, including travelling beyond your local area
Even in such cases, in order to reduce the spread of infection and protect those exercising, travel outside of the home should be limited, as close to your local area as possible, and you should remain at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not a member of your household or a carer at all times.
So now it’s law in Scotland & there are very exact requirements for social distancing while shopping that the shopowner and shoppers have to comply with so it’s not just the shop that decides whether there is social distancing or not!