Throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, our priority is to protect public health, while providing support and advice to businesses across the Falkirk Council area.
The UK Government and the Scottish Government have agreed on regulations and emergency restrictions. The legislation passed in Scotland is the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020.
Our Trading Standards Officers and Environmental Health Officers are striving to make sure that local businesses are complying with legal requirements contained in Regulations 3 and 4. These requirements relate to the closure of certain business premises and to the social distancing measures that should be put in place at business premises that can operate.
Can my business now open for business?
The Scottish Government advice is that all business premises, sites and attractions not required by law to close should remain closed unless:
- essential to the health and welfare of the country during this crisis
- supporting (or being repurposed to support) essential services
- wider public health, health and safety or other considerations apply and require a facility or service to continue to operate or a specific period of time for a safe shutdown process to be completed
- able to reopen in phase 1 of the route map for moving out of lockdown; and
- apart from in exceptional circumstances critical to lives and safety, capable of working in a way which is fully consistent with established physical distancing advice.
Further guidance can be found on the Scottish Government website.
If you are a Falkirk Council business and would like advice on whether you can continue to operate, please email the Environmental Health and Trading Standards Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are there checklists for my business to follow?
The Scottish Government has produced a number of re-opening checklists for the following sectors (keep checking back as we will update this when more become available):
Guides from the Health and Safety Executive provide useful sources of information:
Food Standards Scotland recently updated their guidance on COVID-19 for food businesses. The update guidance package now also includes a new risk assessment tool and checklist to support Food Business Operators (FBOs) in identifying and the measures they need to implement alongside their existing Food Safety Management System to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with input from various sources, have created the following guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed how to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have not already done so, you should carry out an assessment of the risks posed by COVID-19 in your workplace as soon as possible. If you are currently operating, you are likely to have gone through a lot of this thinking already. This guidance will assist you to identify any further improvements you should make. Once you have followed the guidance, you should display this HSE notice in your workplace to show you have followed this guidance.
What are the physical distancing measures retail businesses are required to put in place?
All businesses and services must 'take all reasonable measures' to ensure:
- 2 metres is maintained between any persons on the premises (except for members of the same household or persons and their carers).
- they only admit people in sufficiently small numbers to make the 2 metre distance possible.
- that in any queue to enter the premises, the 2 metre distance is maintained.
What does physical distancing mean for consumers?
You should stay at home as much as possible. You should only leave the house for very limited purposes, for example:
- shopping for basic necessities (such as food and medicine) and at other shops that are open
- exercise and other outdoor activity alone or with members of 1 other household at a time
- to use outdoor spaces for other recreational purposes, for example, to sit or relax alone or with members of 1 other household at a time
- to ensure basic animal welfare needs are met, including taking dogs out when necessary
- any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape the risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home
- to access recycling or waste disposal services, for example, local authority household waste recycling centres.
Are you concerned that a business is operating illegally?
If you have concerns about a business in Falkirk that is not complying with the closure requirements or social distancing and want to report that, please report your concerns to the Environmental Health and Trading Standards Service:
We will investigate your concerns and where necessary deal with the business using powers contained in The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020.
If you have any concerns about people gathering in public, please contact Police Scotland.