The Scottish Government published guidance on 30 June 2020 for customers on how the retail experience in shops, tourism and hospitality businesses is changing due to coronavirus. At the present time Scotland remains in Phase 2 of its' progression through the Scottish Government's Route Map out of the Crisis.

The guidance is also intended to inform the signage used by businesses to engage with their customers.


The guidance to customers is predicated upon the acronym FACTS, namely: 

Face coverings in enclosed spaces.

Avoid crowded places

Clean your hands and surfaces regularly

Two-metre social distancing

Self-isolate and book a test if you develop coronavirus symptoms

Additionally the guidance asks customers to:

  • Shop local - do not travel further than necessary when visiting stores.
  • Be patient - shopping may take longer than you may be used to and you may need to queue for longer as a result. Please do not smoke when queuing outside shops.
  • Shop in as small a group as possible. Shop on your own, or if you are with children, have caring responsibilities or disabilities, which can be un-seen, shop in as small a group as possible.
  • Do not shop at times when shops will be busy. If you do not think you can distance within a shop, try to come back another time.
  • Protect yourself and others. Visit stores that are using infection control measures and use available hand sanitiser or take your own, and do not touch goods. The Scottish Government guidance for retailers will provide customers with an understanding of retailers’ responsibilities.
  • Be polite. Please ensure that you are considerate to retail staff and abide by their guidance and instructions including removing your face covering if requested for proof of age.  

Those who have symptoms of COVID-19 and are self-isolating, or are vulnerable or shielding and need essential items like food or medicine are advised to request assistance from friends, family, community support groups, make an online order, or call the National Helpline.

Tourism and hospitality

With regard to the tourist and hospitality sector, the Guidance recommends that customers should:

  • keep up to date with and follow Scottish Government advice on when it is safe to travel and visit services provided by the tourism and hospitality sector – they may not all be open at the same time or in the same phase of the Route Map.
  • keep up to date with travel advice from Transport Scotland - including on face coverings.
  • refrain from travel or visiting tourism and hospitality services if you have symptoms of illness or if you are in the shielding group, or others in your household are unwell or symptomatic – please check with NHS Inform if you are unsure or need further advice.
  • pay attention to and follow all instructions and advice that is provided by businesses and their staff – this is for your safety and that of other customers and staff.
  • check with businesses in advance on any requirements for booking systems they have put in place to manage limitations on capacity to comply with physical distancing requirements – this will avoid both a wasted trip if you are unable to be admitted and pressure on transport systems.
  • stay in your own household group, observing physical distancing guidelines at all times, and do not let children wander off and mix with others.
  • keep your hands clean - use the hand hygiene products that are provided for your use, or use your own, before or after you touch any common areas – businesses will also be doing this but regular hand hygiene is good practice and reduces the risk of transmission.
  • exercise caution if crowds are gathering at any bottleneck points – this should not happen as businesses will have plans in place to manage this risk, but always be mindful to avoid crowds.
  • go prepared – you may wish to prepare and take your own food and drink on trips as it may not be possible to purchase these items on site – if in doubt check with businesses in advance on what services are open.
  • please ensure that you are considerate to staff that are providing guidance and advice, and abide by their instructions.  Please be courteous and understand that staff are working in challenging circumstances.
  • consult the up to date advice on wearing face coverings as this may change in line with developing health advice.
  • bear in mind that some people may find these measures more difficult to adhere to than others e.g. those with sight loss, autism, learning disabilities, dementia, or other communication or mobility needs. Please be considerate of them, respecting and accommodating differences by giving way when you are out and about.
  • be prepared to show ID for age-restricted purchases and possible removal of face coverings if requested. Staff are facing increased pressure at this time regarding age-verification, with face-coverings recommended for use.

Key Contacts

Lisa McNeill

Lisa McNeill

Managing Associate, Dispute Resolution
Edinburgh, UK

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