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Environmental health services - Coronavirus
The Environmental Health service is still operational and responding to service requests from businesses and the public whilst ensuring the latest government guidelines are being followed. We are committed to meet statutory regulations and will continue to carry out duties to protect public health, public safety and animal welfare at this time.
The council is committed to work with the government and other agencies to continue to protect public health in Scotland during and in the months following the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. View further information on the joint COVID-19: safer work places statement. View advice on reopening a business.
On these pages you can find out about current arrangements for our services and advice environmental health matter during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:
- Level 4 restrictions
- What your business can do to prepare for opening
- Physical distancing when operating your business
- Management of health and safety in the workplace
- What checks you should continue to make if your business is closed
- Help for the farming community
- Phased approach to easing lockdown restrictions - Environmental Health advice
- Food law for businesses
- Food advice for voluntary groups
- Contact the Environmental Health service
If you are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can have this information translated for you via contactSCOTLAND-BSL, the online British Sign Language interpreting service.
All ‘non-essential’ retailers will be required by law to close whilst Aberdeenshire remains subject to Level 4 restrictions.
For confirmation as to what retail businesses are deemed as ‘essential’ and therefore permitted to remain open, please refer to the Scottish Governments Retail Sector guidance FAQ section. Please note, if your business is ‘non-essential’, you are required by law to close until restrictions are eased.
Click and collect services for essential and non-essential retail and on-line retail can remain open, with COVID-19 mitigation measures in place.
Shops that are permitted to remain open must continue to adhere to the two metre physical distancing requirements for retail businesses. They must limit the number of customers inside their premises to ensure this distance can be maintained and take measures to control queues outside of their premises.
Close contact services
Whilst Aberdeenshire remains in Level 4, close contact services and mobile close contact service providers must cease to operate. A list of close contact services including further information is available on the Scottish Government website.
Businesses currently trading, or preparing to re-open, require to have controls in place to ensure compliance with the coronavirus regulations and wider Health and Safety requirements in relation to COVID-19. It is recommended all businesses are familiar with the Health Protection Scotland guidance for non-healthcare settings as well as the relevant sector specific guidance from the Scottish Government.
If the sector specific guidance is not yet published, you can still start to prepare. It is recommended that you familiarise yourself with the measures recommended to control transmission of coronavirus.
If you are planning to reopen, you should consider working together with other retailers and business association in your area to manage safe re-opening co-operatively. You will be required to undertake a suitable and sufficient COVID-19 risk assessment.
As per government advice, physical distancing – keeping at least two metres separation distance between individuals, should be followed at all times. This includes operations within a business, as well as accepting deliveries from suppliers and delivering products to customers. The use of contactless payments and introducing a queuing system to limit the number of people in a premise should also be considered.
As a business, you have the responsibility to manage physical distancing within your premise and outside, including any queues of customers awaiting entry into your shop.
View further guidance on physical distancing within the workplace.
Physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene are the most important and effective things we can all do to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The wearing of face coverings must not be used as an alternative to any of these other precautions.
A face covering can be a covering of any type, except a face shield, that covers the mouth and nose. It is recommended that it be made of cloth or other textiles and should be two, and preferably three layers thick, and through which you can breathe. Religious face coverings that cover the mouth and the nose count as face coverings for these purposes. Transparent face coverings which assist communication for those who rely on lip reading and facial expressions can also be worn.
Face shields may be used, but only if they are worn in addition to a face covering underneath, as the evidence shows that they do not provide adequate protection.
Further guidance on exemptions can be found using the links below.
These documents provide information in regards to the changes and the current requirements and expectations of individuals in order to help reduce the risk of the spread of coronavirus in Scotland. Information relating to when you are expected to wear face coverings and the exemptions are contained within this document. View links to the Scottish Governments website:
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland's route map - what you can and cannot do
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 3: staying safe and protecting others
Mandatory use of face coverings
Further to the announcement by the First Minister on the 7th August, the use of face coverings will now be mandatory in ‘certain indoor public places’ in addition to retail settings. View a list of indoor public places where a mask is required.
Please note, Police Scotland are the authority responsible for the enforcement of the requirement to wear a face covering within certain indoor public places as specified in the regulations.
To keep your water supply safe and prevent colonisation by legionella bacteria, you should run all taps (hot and cold, internal and external) and showers, for at least 5 minutes once a week. For showers, remove the shower head, if possible, before you do this. If this regular weekly flushing is done you will save work when you come to reopen the premises once the current restrictions are lifted.
Make regular checks in and around your premises for pests, including rats and mice, and ensure your premises are adequately proofed and that proofing remains intact. If you have food stored within your premises check your storage areas regularly for signs of pests. Detailed advice is available from the British Pest Control Association.
Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service have developed a Farm Emergency Plan template to help farmers prepare valuable information in the event of illness.
Further advice from Aberdeenshire Council Environmental Health and Trading Standards Officers can be gained by emailing email@example.com.
If the information on our website does not answer your query, please complete the online form.
The Environmental Health Service will respond within 5 working days.