Retail services - Coronavirus

As of 26th April 2021, non-essential retail outlets and close contact services such as beauty salons can reopen.

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.

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.

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 further advice on face coverings and the qualifying exemptions.

COVID-19 control measures 

The following list of control measures is not exhaustive, however, the following should be considered within retail premises:

  • Maintain good ventilation
  • Reducing touch points – doors open where possible
  • Enhanced cleaning of common touch surfaces – card machines, door handles
  • Use of screens at till areas to be used in addition to face coverings
  • Provision of hand sanitiser
  • Remind customers of physical distancing through tannoy announcements or signage
  • Encouraging use of contactless payment rather than cash
  • Legal requirement to wear a face covering (unless exempt)
  • Maintaining physical distancing of 1 metres both inside and outside of the premises by using floor markers and adhering to the maximum capacity of the retail premises
  • Utilising a ‘one-way system’
  • Staggered start and finish times and break times of staff members

Visiting retail premises

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:

  • Customers must not visit any premises if they have tested positive, developed any of the COVID-19 symptoms or are isolating with a member of the same household after testing positive
  • Face coverings must be worn inside all retail premises, unless exempt
  • Customers should follow direction signs, one-way systems and shop capacities if provided by a retail outlet
  • Maintain a 1 metre physical distance between people not in your household, including staff and other customers, at all times
  • Adults, unless accompanying by a vulnerable person or children under 18, should shop alone, where possible

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

  • Avoid visiting crowded shops and where possible, visit stores when they are quieter (early morning/late evening)
  • If you do not think you can maintain social distancing in a shop, wait outside or come back later
  • Use hand sanitiser for hands at point of entry and use cleaning materials, where provided to clean trollies/baskets
  • Try to avoid touching goods unless you intend to buy them
  • Be polite to staff and other customers - 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
  • Be patient – shopping may take longer than you may be used to and you may need to queue outside; please do not smoke whilst in the queue and maintain physical distancing at all times


For further advice, please refer to the Scottish Governments Retail sector guidance

Please email for further information.