Latest business information

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  came into force on Monday 2 November 2020. 

Timetable for easing lockdown restrictions

On the 16 March the Scottish Government announced a timeline of how and when they plan to lift the current restrictions and reopen the economy. 

View the timeline for easing restrictions.  

Latest information 

Aberdeen has moved to Level 1 restrictions: 

  • For indoor public places such as cafes, pubs or restaurants the limit rises to eight people from three households, while outdoor hospitality can accommodate 12 people from 12 different households
  • Travel around Scotland is permitted
  • You can also travel to other parts of the UK only if you follow their rules
  • Shops and leisure attractions are open. Soft play centres and funfairs can reopen, with only nightclubs and adult entertainment having to remain closed
  • The number of people allowed to attend weddings or funerals rises is 100.
  • Pubs and restaurants are permitted to serve alcohol until 11pm.

 View the latest  Scottish Government guidance.  

Hospitality businesses 

View our information for hospitality businesses page.

If you want advice and information about the current restrictions or the timeline for the re-opening of the economy, please contact the Protective Services Team using our online form.

Business support 

View our Business support page for information regarding government grants and funding for your business

Calculating physical distanced based capacity (PDBC)  

The Scottish Government expect all persons responsible for a place of worship, carrying on a business or providing a service to identify and display a physical distance based capacity that demonstrates that their setting can meet physical distancing requirements.  

The Scottish Government have issued guidance on how to make the PDBC calculation for your premises. 

Premises are expected to publicly display their maximum capacity for the premises with physical distancing taken into account. It may help manage customer expectations and boost consumer confidence. The sign displaying the capacity should be large enough and clear enough for people to read easily (A4 sized) and be displayed at entry points and where people may queue. There should also be clear signage throughout the setting to inform people if they are within a 1 metre or a 2 metre physical distancing zone and, most importantly, that everyone is reminded to observe the requirement to distance.  

“Check in Scotland” 

To help protect your visitors, businesses and venues must collect and record the contact details of people who visit. 

One way of making sure you collect people's details is by displaying a Check in Scotland QR code poster at your venue and asking anyone who visits to scan this QR code when they arrive. 

If you already have a way of taking the details of people who visit your business or venue, such as your own QR code method, you can carry on using this method instead of switching to a Check in Scotland QR code poster. But, as Check in Scotland is designed to work with Scotland's Test and Protect system, the Scottish Government would encourage you to look at switching, if you can. 

View the Scottish Government information regarding “Check in Scotland”  and learn how to create your QR code poster. 

The Scottish Government strongly recommend that settings collect the details of all visitors to premises and not just the lead adult of a household. If premises offer a mixture of an on-site and collection service, contact information only needs to be collected for customers who remain on-site.  

View the latest Scottish Government guidance regarding the collection of customer details.

Social media

For the latest news from Aberdeen Trading Standards visit the Trading Standards Twitter page.

Re-opening business and workplaces after the closure period 

The Scottish Government have published a range of guidance for businesses and employers via Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance. This guidance is regularly updated.  

The Scottish Government have also produced a digital toolkit which includes posters and leaflets you can use for your staff and customers. 


HSE have also published guidance on keeping workplaces safe as coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are eased, please visit the  HSE website  for more information.  

    • From Monday, 26 April, all close contact services can operate, including mobile services. An appointment system does not need to be in operation.
    • No services may be offered which require a face covering to be removed. For gentlemen, this means no beard trims or shaves can be offered just yet, even if exempt from the face covering requirement.  

    The Scottish Government have issued guidance for all close contact services

    View more information for Hairdressers and Barbers.

    View more information for Beauticians.

    Click and collect rules are changing on Monday 5 April. For all retailers that are not permitted to open, they can operate a click and collect service. “Permitted collection” rules will apply to everyone. 

    Businesses offering click and collect services must by law: 

    • Operate by a staggered appointment system for collection with, where reasonably practicable, a gap between each appointment to separate customers from each other 

    • limit 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 

    More guidance for click and collect businesses can be found on the Scottish Government website

    It's important to carry out COVID-19 specific risk assessments and review your existing risk assessments, putting into place control measures to keep people safe. What we know about the spread of coronavirus, and the rules you must follow, have changed 

    For more information on how to undertake a risk assessment go to the Covid-19 HSE Risk Assessment webpage which include a template  Risk Assessment

    Below is some helpful information to help you carry out this process. If you are unsure or need advice, please contact us. 

    You will need to: 

    • Remember fresh air: the risk from aerosol spread of coronavirus is now known to be very important. This means that improving ventilation as much as possible is the most effective control measure in your workplace. For more guidance on ventilation, see ventilation and air conditioning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic HSE webpage
    • Consider how many people will you actually "fit" back into the workplace with social distancing measures in place. 
    • Remove or restrict the use of use some desks, workstations, chairs, tables, equipment throughout the workplace (including canteens, service areas, offices, stockrooms, public areas, communal areas, external areas etc.) and stop hot-desking to enable people to maintain social distancing. 
    • Decide when it will be safe to open - have contractors visit first to carry out any essential or necessary works, maintenance and testing. Ensure contractors are safe when working in your premises - both contractor and businesses must work together to communicate any concerns and control measures to each other. 
    • Involve employees and union representatives in your decision-making and risk assessments reviews. 

    Plan for how you long you will need to maintain social distancing (it could be required for a long time);

    • Consider what hygiene controls must be in place (including maintaining additional hand washing, additional cleaning and disinfecting especially of touch points, shared equipment, barriers between employees and public etc.). 
    • Carry out thorough cleaning and disinfection of the premises and equipment with appropriate cleaning chemicals.
    • Consider a phased return to the building whilst Covid19 continues and consider what will happen later when Covid19 controls end.
    • Identify which roles and activities won't go ahead due to the ongoing restrictions (e.g. due to the risk of infection, restrictions on travel etc) and what impact that will have on your business. 
    • Plan for and identify how people will physically access the building if there are still social distancing restrictions in place. 
    • Will you need one door in and one door out? Can you make entrance doors automatic, so they don't have to be touched? 
    • Will it take longer for people to get into and out of the building if the 2-metre rule is still in place? 
    • If you are permitting members of the public to enter your building, what extra measures are you going to put in place? For example, Perspex screens at reception, contactless card readers, sanitiser hand stations. 
    • Try to discourage members of the public from visiting your workplace. Only accept members of the public, or clients if there is no alternative and ask them to make appointments. 'Walk-in's' will only encourage queuing, which creates additional challenges. 

    Legionella Risk 

    • Legionella risk assessments should be reviewed to reflect buildings being closed or having reduced occupancy levels during the Covid-19 outbreak. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health have provided guidance on  Legionnaire's Disease Lockdown Risk and Reopening Safely booklet
    • Hot and cold water outlets may now be infrequently used and will require flushing on a weekly basis to prevent water stagnation. If weekly flushing cannot be undertaken, then duty holders should liaise with whoever provides their competent advice to ensure systems are cleaned (if required) and disinfected before building reoccupation. This is especially important for duty holders that have showers such as hotels or leisure centres as showers can be a potential source of Legionella. 
    • Where spa pools or hot tubs remain in use, then existing control regimes must be maintained. Where systems are not in use, they will need to be drained, cleaned and disinfected. Prior to reinstatement, they will also need to be cleaned and disinfected 
    • Where operation of  Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers is still necessary, then these must be maintained and operated safely at all times to avoid increased Legionella risks. During the COVID 19 emergency, it is important that employers have reviewed operations and planned for the necessary measures and resources to ensure safe systems of work are continued. This will include the availability of adequately trained personnel to carry out essential checks and monitoring, as well as ensuring chemical supplies are maintained and dosed appropriately. 
    • Operators should liaise with their water treatment companies for assistance and if it is necessary to cease operation of any systems. If cooling towers and evaporative condensers are likely to be out of operation for: 
      • Up to a month – fans should be isolated, but biocidal-treated water should be circulated around the system for at least an hour on a weekly basis, or 
      • More than a month – systems should be drained down, cleaned and disinfected before being refilled and returned to operation.

     Drinking Water 

    • You need to consider drinking fountains, water coolers and other drinking water outlets where the spread of COVID-19 may occur. 
    • You may want to remove drinking fountains as they pose a high risk of cross-infection as employees may touch them with their mouths, and coolers require a glass to be pushed against a lever which will also be likely to spread infection. 
    • Ensure that you use water outlets that have sufficient room to enable staff to get a cup/glass easily under the tap to enable them to fill their cup/glass properly, without touching the tap spout or nozzle.  
    • Removal of drinking fountains or coolers may lead to a shortage in drinking water points. 

    Employers have a duty to provide clean drinking water in the workplace for all staff, therefore alternative arrangements may need to be considered such as purchasing bottled water. 

    • Identify all equipment and installations that may have missed their planned preventative maintenance, inspection, test or thorough examination - ensure they are maintained/tested/inspected/examined by a competent person before being put back into use (examples include pressure systems, lifts and lifting equipment, gas installations and equipment, electrical equipment and installations, extraction systems, ventilation systems, vehicles, manual handling equipment, metal detecting equipment, guarding, security equipment etc) 
    • Think about the use of lifts whilst maintaining social distancing - you may need to restrict the number of people allowed in the lift at any one time, which will mean it could take longer for people to reach their workstation. 
    • If you restrict the number of people using the lifts, that may lead to increased use of staircases, you may also need to control the number of people using the staircases at any one time - plan for any extra time it may take and consider introducing staggered start, finish and break times to reduce the numbers in those areas.
    • Think about busy communal doorways, can they be propped open safely without interfering with fire precautions or making employees work in a draft? Can doors be retro fitted with automatic door openers? 
    • Understand how people will feel about going back into the workplace, people may have lost confidence in their ability to do the jobs they haven't done for a while, they may be worried about mixing with other people - a planned phased return could help 
    • Some people may require refresher training or retraining to carry out their roles safely, competently and effectively - be understanding of this and provide any necessary support. 
    • People will need information, instruction and training on any changes in activities, any risks and new controls you have put in place, as well as training in your COVID-19 control measures 
    • Stagger shifts and break times to reduce the amount of people present at any one time 
    • Rotate days in office and work from home days to reduce amount of people in the building 
    • Ensure that your work related stress policy is up to date. Line managers should be given refresher training on how to help employees and employers should ensure that information to help employees find help is freely available. 
    • Remember that some employees may have been very unwell or be grieving for loved ones following the pandemic.

    For information regarding the wearing of face coverings in the workplace view the guidance from the Scottish Government

    The Scottish Government has published, in consultation with industry, sector specific guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.  When undertaking your risk assessment, you must have regard to the available guidance. 

    Following the guidance is not compulsory, unless specifically stated, and you are free to take other action, so long as the same level of protection is achieved. But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law. 

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