Covid 19 - Scotland Regulations issued 16th December 2021

16 Dec

Following on from the announcement by the First Minister earlier this week as to restrictions as a result of the increasing number of Omicron infections ,today we see the publication of the detail as to what is expected by the Holyrood.

The regulations can be found at

The regulations will be reviewed every 3 weeks and if the prognosis is correct by the next review we should be at height of the infection wave.

The basic position required to be undertaken is to take such of these measures as are reasonably practicable to minimise the incidence and spread of coronavirus on the premises, for example measures which limit close face-to-face interaction, such as supporting working from home, making adjustments to the premises and putting in place protective measures such as signage, screens and other mitigations.

However more information as to the extent of the expectation is set out as follows:

Risk assessment - Working safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic guidance sets out further detail on risk assessment and duties as a business or service provider.

Staying safe and protecting others guidance provides further considerations, in particular measures that can be strengthened now in response to the Omicron variant.

Under Mandatory protection measures there is set out:

Take reasonable measures to minimise the incidence and spread of coronavirus

You must assess what protection measures you should put in place in your premises to reduce the risk of transmission such as:

  • changing the layout of premises including the location of furniture and workstations;
  • controlling the use of entrances, passageways, stairs and lifts;
  • controlling the use of shared facilities such as toilets and kitchens;
  • installing barriers or screens;
  • providing or requiring the use of personal protective equipment;
  • providing information on minimisation of risk to those working in or visiting the workplace.

Comply with the Certification Scheme

It is mandatory for people to show proof they are eligible to enter certain venues and events – this is known as the Certification Scheme 

Under Advisory protection measures:

Get vaccinated when offered

Encourage staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine through supporting the dissemination of national campaign information. Individuals retain the right to choose whether to take the vaccine and businesses should be mindful of this.

Test before going to work

Individuals who are unable to work from home should do a lateral flow test regularly (twice-weekly) and on every occasion they intend to mix socially with people from other households. This might mean testing more regularly.

Maximise ventilation

By taking measures to increase the volume of outside air entering a building, such as opening windows, doors or vents, you can help minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19 to colleagues and customers. 

A range of guidance has been developed to help businesses, employers and employees understand what good ventilation is which includes Scottish Government ventilation guidance and the Health and Safety Executive guidance on ventilation and air conditioning during COVID-19.

Good hand and respiratory hygiene and surface cleaning

Good hygiene measures are key workplace-specific measures to create a safe working environment. These include, for example:

  • providing access to sanitiser and hand-washing facilities;
  • regular cleaning of work equipment, chairs and work stations areas and common touch points;
  • regular cleaning and sanitising of communal areas
  • if sneezing or coughing around other people, do so into a tissue, handkerchief or your elbow;
  • minimising the use of touchpoints throughout buildings, including exploring where possible how digital processes or systems may replace the need for face-to-face discussion.

 Sector Specific Measures are also set out for hospitality

Hospitality (including nightclubs and adult entertainment)

  • mandatory local licensing laws apply;
  • mandatory collection of contact details remains in place;
  • mandatory reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission;
  • strongly encourage the use of table service where possible, alternatively a takeaway service may be provided, though bar service is now permitted in law;
  • from 1 October 2021, the Covid Certification Scheme introduced the legal requirement for vaccine certificates/ negative test result to be provided in order to access certain settings in Scotland.

As ever a full read of the Guidance is recommended as it is extensive, and we have sought to highlight the key elements.

Law correct at the date of publication.
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