Scottish Government has issued the following advice to Scottish businesses.
We would advise all business premises, sites and attractions to close now unless they are:
- Essential to the health and welfare of the country during this crisis (as defined below); or
- Supporting (or being repurposed to support) essential services; or
- Capable of working in a way which is fully consistent with established social distancing advice; or
- Wider public health, health and safety or other considerations apply
Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) sectors define those facilities, systems, sites and networks necessary for the functioning of the country. Essential services are the fundamental services that underpin daily life and ensure the country continues to function.
There are 13 designated sectors (Energy; Communications – Telecommunications, Public Broadcast, Postal Services, Internet; Government; Transport; Finance; Civil Nuclear; Defence; Chemicals; Space; Government; Health; Food; Water and Waste; Emergency Services) but not everything and everybody within a national infrastructure sector is 'critical'.
Even where businesses are in the CNI category and judge themselves to be exempt from closure of business premises, it is imperative that they keep open only those premises or parts of premises that are truly critical or essential to the national COVID effort.
All individuals and businesses that are not being specifically required to close should consider a key set of questions– and at all times work on the precautionary basis:
- Is what you do essential or material to the effort against the virus or to the wellbeing of society?
- If so, can your staff work from home?
- If not can you practise safe social distancing and comply with ALL other standard health and safety requirements.
If the answer to none of the above questions is yes, our advice on a precautionary basis is to close.