We are now in phase 3 of the Scottish Government’s Route Map which has eased the restrictions on certain businesses further; this is good news for business owners whose businesses have been affected the most during the pandemic.
In order to continue to move through the phases of the Route Map, there is a responsibility to continue to comply with the control measures that are already in place i.e. physical distancing, controlling the number of people gathering and increased hygiene measures.
Physical distancing duties are set out in Regulation 4(1) of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020. A person who is responsible for carrying on a business or providing a service must take all reasonable measures:
All people entering a shop must wear a face covering. People responsible for a shop (or their employees) do not need to wear a mask if there is a partition between the staff and members of the public or a distance of at least 2 metres can be maintained them and the public. Shops do not include restaurants, dining rooms, members clubs, cafes, canteens, public houses or banks and building societies, money shops, etc. Police Scotland are responsible for the regulation of these provisions.
As well as Coronavirus Legislation, business operators have further legal obligations to protect their staff under health and safety legislation, which must also be complied with.
Please see the following link for Health and Safety advice relating to Coronavirus in the workplace. See the step-by-step guide in “Make your workplace Covid-secure” section for businesses preparing to re-open. This guide covers:
As a minimum we expect:
As businesses re-open it is important that those in charge of a business put their own control measures in place to keep their staff, customers and visitors safe while on their premises; this is required by law. It is also important that staff implement these controls in order for them to be effective.
The Scottish Government also produced supplementary guidance for businesses which includes some sector specific advice (see businesses and employers section).
Many businesses were allowed to operate throughout the lock down, below are some examples of the control measures that have been used and been found to be effective in keeping people safe:
It is important that employers introduce control measures that are suitable for their business type, premises, workforce and customers.
Environmental Health has powers to deal with businesses that do not follow Coronavirus social distancing rules but not the wearing of face coverings. Our approach aims to achieve compliance through engagement, explanation and encouragement with enforcement as a last resort. We are here to help everyone comply with this new law.
We understand the difficulties business operators are currently facing and the work involved in developing and implementing these additional systems. We would urge businesses to make use of this service if they are unsure of their obligations.
We can help businesses get it right and ensure they fully understand what they are supposed to do. This will help us engage with them and help them continue to trade by following the rules.
Please contact the team by email at email@example.com or phone 01259 450000 and ask to speak to Environmental Health.
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Talking with your workers about preventing coronavirus
Managing risks and risk assessment at work
Hand sanitiser products and surface disinfectants during the coronavirus outbreak – use, manufacture and supply
Regulating occupational health and safety during the coronavirus outbreak
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