Latest Coronavirus Restrictions
On 5 January, mainland Scotland, including Aberdeen, was been placed under Enhanced Level 4 restrictions until at least the middle of March.
On 23 February the Scottish Government laid out a cautious strategic framework out of lockdown alongside an indicative timeframe. The restrictions for Level 4 as part of the ongoing response to COVID-19 will remain in place until at least the middle of March. The Scottish Government announced on 2 March that it plans to confirm on 9 March changes to level 4 restrictions and consider whether it is possible to accelerate exit from lockdown with a careful and cautious approach.
Aberdeen City Council aims to revise its COVID-19 web pages as quickly as possible in response to government updates.
Covid-19 – Regulations
Throughout the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, our priority is to protect public health, while providing support and advice to businesses across Aberdeen City.
The council has enforcement powers under legislation which has been made to introduce new temporary restrictions to help reduce the spread of the virus.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 come into force on Monday 2 November.
The Council is the main regulator for retail, wholesale distribution and warehousing, hotel and catering premises, offices, and the consumer/leisure industries, including the requirements of physical distancing on these premises. We will be publishing information about what the new measures mean for businesses on this page in response to evolving government guidance.
You may contact us if you have any questions
If you have concerns about a business in Aberdeen or want advice on what you can or can not do please contact us using our online form.
Enhanced Level 4 Restrictions for Businesses
The following restrictions apply to businesses in Aberdeen.
- Only essential retail will be able to remain open providing they follow and have implemented Scottish Government guidance to ensure the safety of customers and staff. For retailers which have been defined as non-essential – i.e., not on the list below - the legal position is that they will need to close.
Those that can remain open are:
- food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops
- off-licences and licensed shops selling alcohol (including breweries)
- pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists
- building merchants and suppliers of products and tools used in building work and repairs
- petrol stations
- car repair and MOT services
- bicycle shops
- taxi or vehicle hire businesses
- banks, building societies, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs, cash points and undertakings which by way of business operate a currency exchange office, transmit money (or any representation of money) by any means or cash cheques which are made payable to customers
- post offices
- funeral directors
- laundrettes and dry cleaners
- dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody services, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health
- veterinary surgeons and pet shops
- agricultural supplies shops and agricultural markets
- storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off or collection points, where the facilities are in the premises of a business included in this list
- car parks
- public toilets
- livestock markets or auctions
- outdoor markets, and outdoor car lots
Click and Collect
From Saturday 16 January click and collect can operate for essential and certain non-essential retail only. The non-essential retailers which can continue to operate click and collect services are:
- clothing and footwear stores
- homeware stores
- garden centre/plant nurseries
- baby equipment shops
- electrical shops (including repairs)
- key cutting and shoe repairs
For these retailers listed above, who are otherwise closed to the public, they are able to offer a permitted collection services only where it meets the following legal requirements:
- It is operated by a staggered appointment system for collection with, where reasonably practicable, a gap between each appointment to separate customers from each other, and
- Limits access to the premises only to the extent, if any, that is required to offer the collection service. Access to other areas of the closed store is not allowed.
Whilst these measures apply specifically to the above list of permitted collection service retailers, essential retailers who are open should strive to implement similar controls, wherever possible, in order to minimise the need for customers to enter the premises and to minimise interactions with each other and with staff.
Other measures that may be put in place could include:
- Avoiding passing goods hand-to-hand.
- Frequent cleaning of any surfaces involved in collection services and reducing touch points.
- Messaging customers in advance of collection to emphasise the need for face coverings to be worn and that 2 metre physical distancing is to be maintained.
- Additional appropriate measures to ensure customers with disabilities are able to collect safely and securely.
Online ordering for delivery from other closed retailers can continue.
Close contact services such as hairdressing, barbers, beauticians, and mobile close contact service providers cannot operate.
- Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars will be closed.
- Takeaways can still operate, provided food and drink is sold for consumption off the premises. Face coverings and physical distancing rules must be followed.
- From Saturday 16 January customers in Scotland will no longer be allowed to go inside to collect takeaway food or drink. Businesses will have to operate from a serving hatch or doorway. The Scottish Government have issued guidance for businesses in regard to these new rules.
Life Events Including Weddings and Funerals
- Wedding ceremonies and civil partnership registrations can take place with a maximum capacity of 5 people (including the couple, the witnesses and the person conducting the ceremony, 6 if an interpreter is required) providing the venue’s capacity allows for 2 metre physical distancing.
- Funerals can take place with a maximum capacity of 20 guests providing the venue’s capacity allows for appropriate physical distancing.
- Wedding or civil partnership receptions and post funeral gatherings such as wakes cannot take place.
Leisure and Entertainment
- All leisure and entertainment premises must be closed.
- All public sector buildings such as libraries will be closed, however, library click and collect services may still operate in Level 4.
- All indoor visitor attractions such as museums, galleries, heritage attractions, indoor areas of zoos and aquariums are closed. Outdoor visitor attractions, such as parks, gardens and the outdoor areas of zoos may remain open, to enable exercise and recreation to be undertaken with appropriate physical distancing in place but should only be visited in line with travel restrictions. Visitor attraction’s retail and hospitality facilities will be closed.
Sports and Exercise
- Outdoor gyms can remain open. Indoor gyms must close.
- Outdoor non-contact sports such as golf and tennis are permitted for all age groups provided this is within a single household group, or the group contains no more than 2 people from 2 different households. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number.
Tourism and Accommodation
All holiday accommodation is closed to tourism. Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering can remain open for essential customers only:
- anyone who is using that accommodation for essential work purposes
- anyone who requires accommodation to attend a funeral
- anyone who is providing accommodation or support services to the homeless
- anyone who uses that accommodation as their main residence
- anyone who needs accommodation while moving home
- anyone who is unable to return to their main residence
Hotels and other accommodation providers can still serve food to qualifying guests i.e., key or exempt workers, staying in their premises up to 10pm. Room service, including alcohol, is allowed as normal.
- Driving lessons, including motorcycle lessons, must not be held.
- People are advised to work from home wherever that is practicable.
- Businesses which provide essential services can continue to operate, such as those in the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) sector, courts and tribunals. There are 13 designated CNI sectors including agriculture and food production, activity to maintain the food supply chain, energy and transport. Not all CNI activity will be essential. Those operations which can be done effectively through home working should be adopted.
- Outdoor workplaces, construction, manufacturing, veterinary services and film and TV production can also remain open. They should plan for the minimum number of people needed on site to operate safely and effectively.
Trades People, Home Repairs
From January 16 regulations will require that home visits by contractors should only be for essential services. Tradespeople should only go into a house in a level 4 area to carry out or deliver essential work or services, for example:
- to carry out utility (electricity, gas, water, telephone, broadband) safety checks, repairs, maintenance and installations
- to carry out repairs and maintenance that would otherwise threaten the household’s health and safety
- to deliver goods or shopping
- to deliver, install or repair key household furniture and appliances such as washing machines, fridges and cookers
- to support a home move, for example furniture removal.
Information for Retail Premises
On December 17 Aberdeen City Council held an online safety seminar for retailers to help protect staff, customers and businesses from COVID-19 in Aberdeen.
We have also produced a questionnaire/checklist for retailers to use to help them comply with the regulations.
Guidance for Business
The Scottish Government has published guidance for the following sectors:
- Forestry and Environmental management activities
- Farmers and Crofters
- Tourism and hospitality
- Small and micro businesses
- Cinemas and drive-in cinemas
- The Events sector
- Swimming Pools
- Fitness Centres/Gyms
For the latest news from Aberdeen Trading Standards visit the Trading Standards Twitter page.