General business guidance - coronavirus
As of Monday 9th August 2021, Aberdeenshire moves ‘beyond level 0’ of the strategic framework, which removes most of the coronavirus restrictions which have been imposed on businesses during the pandemic.
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, there is a duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety, and welfare at work of employees and individuals not in their employment, such as customers.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, businesses should ensure that suitable COVID-19 mitigation measures are put in place to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus within their workplace. This can be achieved by undertaking a ‘suitable and sufficient’ risk assessment and in turn ensuring staff are suitably trained and customers advised of the mitigation measures in place within the business.
The requirement to wear a face covering remains in place for indoor settings (unless exempt). This includes retail, hospitality and other indoor venues. View Scottish Government's guidance on face coverings.
Although most of the restrictions have been removed, the threat of coronavirus to communities remains across Scotland. To reduce the risk of community and workplace transmission, baseline control measures should remain in place. These include:
Enhanced cleaning of common touch surfaces
Enhanced cleaning of common touch surfaces should remain in place. An appropriate cleaning agent which is compliant with BS14476 should be used as directed. It is important to continue cleaning surfaces regularly, for example, restaurants should ensure tables are thoroughly cleaned and sanitised in between customers and desks in an office cleaned before and after use by staff.
Good ventilation is important in reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, especially for spaces which might otherwise be confined or particularly busy. You should consider the following:
- open windows or doors to let fresh air in
- travel in cars, trains, and buses with windows open
- if possible, meet outdoors instead of indoors
Hand hygiene and surface cleaning
Hand hygiene and surface cleaning should continue to be maintained to a high standard and hand sanitiser be made available in public spaces if possible. This will help reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, as well as other illnesses or infectious diseases.
Businesses should consider maintaining some physical distancing measures within their premises to reduce the risk of transmission to both customers and staff. Although the requirement to remain physically distanced is no longer mandatory, maintaining distance from others is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
What you must do as an employer
Although many legal COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted under Coronavirus Regulations, employers and employees should continue to manage the risk of transmission of the virus in their workplace, in which they have a duty to do so under existing health and safety legislation. This means that employers should:
- follow this guidance and any industry guidance that may apply
- continue to conduct and regularly review COVID-19 specific risk assessments
- continue to work with employees, or employer representative, on health and safety matters
- help employees to understand the steps they can take to prevent COVID-19 spreading in the workplace
The following information sources are available to help businesses and customers understand the remaining requirements and how to protect the health of customers and staff whilst there is a risk of COVID-19 transmission within the community:
- Staying safe and protecting others
- Tourism and hospitality sector
- Safer business and workplaces
- Health and Safety Executive – Ventilation and air conditioning