Businesses that have been restricted or closed

Businesses will need to change the way they work, requiring them to operate under strict safe working guidance. Our initial focus is on construction, manufacturing and retail, where less work can be done remotely, as well as elements of outdoor and rural work where transmission risks are likely to be lower.

Why the contribution is important

The Scottish Government has committed to engaging with the public and is interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.

by ScottishGovernment on May 04, 2020 at 08:23PM

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Average rating: 4.2
Based on: 87 votes

Comments

  • Posted by Gwenne May 05, 2020 at 12:51

    I am keen to hear thoughts on Government on bridal shops reopening . We have done a risk assessment and have looked at stores in the USA so are happy we can open but obviously doing our job in a very different way in what is a very customer service based industry.
  • Posted by Beccaa08 May 05, 2020 at 12:52

    Within the retail industry, it would be good to limit the number of customers in shops. Also make shops cashless where possible. Do bookmakers, ie Ladbrokes come under retail or are they the leisure industry?
  • Posted by Andalg May 05, 2020 at 12:53

    I work for an ice rink which understably has had to close Is it ok for me to go in to the office for work to bring home and and work on there ? I have not done so so far as I didn't see it as an essential journey to make
  • Posted by garyr1982 May 05, 2020 at 12:55

    Possible rules to support the reopening of construction sites and businesses 1. Work from home where possible and praciticable 2. Social distancing and hygiene rules to be strictly adhered to and policed by senior management. Businesses cannot reopen until they have a safe system of work in place and must provide soap, water sanitiser etc to all employees. 4. Restrict the number of employees / staff at premises to a number suitable for welfare facilities available, ensuring staggered start/end times, break times and shift working is considered. 3. Travel to and from workplace to be restricted to indivudals own transport, i.e. no use of public transport 4. Permit to work issued by local council (permitting travel to and from work within certain hours perhaps) 5. visitors to workplaces not permitted i.e. employees only
  • Posted by Nscott94 May 05, 2020 at 12:57

    I do office work and I am currently working from home. My concern living in Fife and commuting to Edinburgh is how busy public transport will be. Thousands of people use this route daily and it's not realistic to have people walk or cycle such a large distance. I have asthma, albeit not severe, and as I have not been told to self-isolate with a letter. Can I be forced onto public transport and the office when I can work remotely?
  • Posted by Doonhamer May 05, 2020 at 12:59

    I don't think it's as difficult as you suggest for businesses like construction and manufacturing. They are used to complying with Health and Safety regulations and often have HSE Officers. No reason they can't be allowed to open so long as they follow COVID guidelines ensuring so far as reasonably practicable the health and safety of employees and wider public. They should be doing this in any case, and more and more are already opening back up. They should also take into account their location and how employees commute.
  • Posted by JMc May 05, 2020 at 13:01

    PROPERTY MARKET Whilst there are challenges around the viewing of newly listed properties, there will be a large number of properties that had agreed sales prior to lockdown and are awaiting a relaxation of lockdown measures in order to complete. Many, if not all, of these moves could be conducted whilst adhering to social distancing (use of self-hire vehicles, storage units or even removal companies could be combined with staggered handover of keys). Given the chain effect, this will positively impact estate agents and law firms whilst contributing to the collection of taxes, mitigate against a crash in prices and the associated economic harm.
  • Posted by LynnS May 05, 2020 at 13:01

    Would staggering staff into the workplace to begin with over a day also be of benefit?
  • Posted by TheDancingDino May 05, 2020 at 13:01

    There are two threads here: public-facing and non-public facing. Firstly: non-public facing (e.g. manufacturing, construction). It may be as simple as requiring the use of face masks to be worn until the rate of infection nationally has become acceptably low. Ideally, we'd need data to understand the length of time for which this would be required (e.g wearing face masks at work for a month would be easier than asking for them to be worn for 6-12 months) to assess how people may feel about the idea. Public-facing businesses, however, may need social distancing to continue as there may be no other way to guarantee safety.
  • Posted by poppy197312 May 05, 2020 at 13:02

    I work in local authority in a large public building and our service users do not respect personal space . The cleanliness of this building was questionable before this virus . I am currently working from home and have to use public transport if I go back to work . This is a huge concern as I feel our jobs can be done from home but I feel local authorities have s culture of presenteeism and micro managing where managers will try to bend the rules and say places are safe to work in when not .
  • Posted by David May 05, 2020 at 13:02

    The opening of garden centres and nurseries is immediately necessary. We have the crazy situation of supermarkets, The Range, and B & Q being open and able to sell plants, but not garden centes and nurseries. They could introduce social distancing without any problem as they very often have wide aisles. The present situation is crazy!!!
  • Posted by Bill May 05, 2020 at 13:04

    I would like you to think reopening of dental practices. In rest of Europe special PPE allowing dentist to help patients. We are with anti-inflammatory and antibiotics for last 5 weeks. As long as dentists take precautions can't see why will still need to be in pain.
  • Posted by rhudiepup May 05, 2020 at 13:06

    I agree that construction, manufacturing and retail should be prioritized in Scotland, but what about public services - community centers, libraries, council offices - what is the Scottish Govt plan to re-open these services. Will these services be given guidance as part of the Scottish Govt review?
  • Posted by Jaja797 May 05, 2020 at 13:08

    As above , I feel that bookmakers , Although having a good high street presence , seem to be in a grey area . We have " a different kind of customer base " . Customers who mix together in shops , who I cannot see taking any heed to social distancing. I've worked in the bookmakers for 34 years and I always state we have a different breed of customers than let's say Tesco etc . So what could we do to keep safe ? Only open for customers having an immediate transaction at the sales point then leaving the shop immediately . No , live racing on Tv s in shop , No . Paper display No chairs , tables etc . 2 metre distance " dots" Screens on counter Partitions between staff PPe .available . What I am saying is please think of the bookmaker staff when you lift the restrictions. It's a different kind of retail that needs thought out carefully. Only card transaction
  • Posted by JakobUhd May 05, 2020 at 13:10

    It would be helpful, if the business under consideration for the being opened in the first wave, would include removals companies. It seems to me to be a business that is by it nature limited to a few people, and where the workers could reasonably employ a degree of PPE that would mitigate some of the risks involved in operation, both for the employees and the customers. Many property transactions are effectively on hold due to the logistical limits imposed by removals companies not being able to conduct business, and apart from the financial uncertainty this brings, it also has adverse effects on those whose circumstances need to change.
  • Posted by Shogun May 05, 2020 at 13:10

    Many trades could return to work if two people in a van were allowed, or work together, these two person teams would still need to keep social distance, from others, but allowing this would allow many small businesses to restart. These two person teams should not be allowed to swap team members. So limiting possible spread of infection.
  • Posted by Jane May 05, 2020 at 13:13

    I think this is critical to the countries economy and given our experience of last 7 weeks my sense is that the majority of workers and customers will comply. I think this should include public and local authority services - technology and appointment slots could assist along with priority drop in sessions. Seeing this change if managed safely will be a very visible sign that we have a clear plan.
  • Posted by KerryV May 05, 2020 at 13:13

    Construction should resume providing social distancing is adhered to.
  • Posted by PeachesHumph May 05, 2020 at 13:15

    Tell businesses to allow people to continue working from home if this does not impact the business, this will reduce people in public transport, keep numbers in workplaces lower so it will help in social distancing. Also people who visit multiple businesses during a working day eg sales reps should be discouraged to do this and use all the technology readily available to stay in contact with their clients
  • Posted by Piefke May 05, 2020 at 13:16

    1) any work that can be done from home should be done from home, employer is responsible to facilitate this. Grants from government to help setting this up (they found£10000 per MP to allow them and their employees to work remotely!) 2) hygiene precautions enshrined in health and safety regulations and therefore legally enforceable ie it is the employers duty to have surfaces cleaned if hot dealing is necessary, all work places have to have shared facilities professionally cleaned (kitchen, break rooms, toilets, bannisters, door knobs etc)
  • Posted by Jimmywaugh May 05, 2020 at 13:16

    Must ensure in legislation not recommendation that employers enforce social distancing or PPE and full use of Health and Safety inspections an law applies to all sectors.
  • Posted by Chrismollitt May 05, 2020 at 13:17

    You can stand at a checkout at a supper market but you can’t go to a church, chapel or registry’s office in a small number where social distancing could be easily conformed with so really what is the difference weddings and events like this give people hope and allow life a sense of normal.
  • Posted by lalpton May 05, 2020 at 13:17

    Please add the property industry / market to the govt list of priority industries to re-open. At the moment many house sales are 'on hold' pending surveyors visits and prospective buyers are unable to view properties for sale which in turn is preventing sellers marketing their properties for sale. I believe that both property surveys and viewings by prospective buyers (with estate agents present) would restart with appropriate rules surrounding such visits and appropriate precautions are taken. Specific guidance for property surveyors and estate agents should enable them to return to work, in what is a much less risky area than manufacturing or retail; but an area which can have a greater impact on the economy.
  • Posted by Piefke May 05, 2020 at 13:19

    Hot desking not dealing
  • Posted by mjm88 May 05, 2020 at 13:21

    I think that it is important for there to be an equal focus on small, High St businesses which are essentially the backbone of the economy. Provided that these businesses (Solicitors/Estate Agents/Accountants/Dentists/Hairdressers/Trades etc) operate safe practices, then they should be allowed to reopen immediately. There has to be a pragmatic consideration of the longterm health consequences (relative to Covid 19) of the continuing economic shutdown
  • Posted by CityScot May 05, 2020 at 13:22

    Possible way to observe social distancing in large retailers would be to : - limit number of customers by having staff on doors ( like in current supermarkets) - where possible, in larger stores , a one-way “traffic “ system such as ikea already implement. Using multiple entrances/exits to facilitate. - use of face coverings by everyone to reduce the risk of possible spread , in conjunction with existing social distancing , hand-washing etc - more centralised pay-points in stores with managed queues , enabling other staff to assist customers and being able to freely move to be able to still observe distancing. These centralised pay points could be perspex shielded to protect staff and public .
  • Posted by csoutter May 05, 2020 at 13:22

    My work is within the community centres which are closed just now to staff and the public. There is a wide and diverse range of activities which entails sports, leisure activities, food banks etc. A great deal of planning and rescheduling will have to be put in place before the centres can reopen. I think this process will have to be gradual, small groups been invited back with the measures in place to keep them safe. Safe distancing, hand washing, sanitising, areas cleaned down in between groups will all have to be adhered to. Staff should be supplied with the appropriate PPE and also should adhere to hygiene practises. Wish list would include a camera at the entrance to every public building for temperatures to be checked, also an appropriate app to check if any people entering the building have been covid-19 positive. Not meaning to ramble on but I think a lot of people are very conscious that the virus is still out there and they will naturally behave to keep their self safe.
  • Posted by nentwistle May 05, 2020 at 13:24

    Small shops in smaller town centres could open if they can restrict the number of people in them at one time. however this would require space outside the shops for people to queue. Closing or restricting the roads outside shops for vehicular traffic for a couple of hours a day would allow customers to queue safely and so allow shops to open for those few hours.
  • Posted by Fifewifey May 05, 2020 at 13:26

    Although there is currently good health and safety legislation in place at present, I think workplaces and employees should recieve soecial written guidance and advice about workplace health in relation to Covid 19. Trade Unions need to be engaged to get their input. Most of all employees should not be penalised for wanting to keep themselves or their families safe.
  • Posted by STP May 05, 2020 at 13:27

    When the time comes to update the rules on "Closure of holiday accommodation": - Please could you explicitly reference furnished self-catering holiday accommodation to avoid any uncertainty about what rules apply to this sector as the current wording by both Scotland and Westminster only explicitly refers to other types of holiday accommodation. - Please be very explicit about when self-catering holiday accommodation is being told to stay closed and/or on what terms/conditions these properties can start welcoming paying guests again to avoid any ambiguity. - Please also be very clear about any geographic differences in the rules and/or if any revised rules apply differently to different types of properties e.g. very remote properties where guests can stay with no interaction with the local population and other tourists. - Similarly, please be clear if guests from the UK will have to be considered differently from EU and/or Rest of the World guests. Separately: - Please could any updates to the use of second homes also be very clear to avoid any ambiguity. For all these questions, would it be a good idea explicitly to take into account the views of the local communities through the very local councils etc or other consultation methods? Thank you.
  • Posted by rcdm1876 May 05, 2020 at 13:31

    A return for construction sites is essential but without correct social distancing provided per trade and key work task and should include:- Site arrival check and protocol point Designated work pattern and set locations Socially distanced canteen/ welfare/ mess rooms Appropriate PPE Shift patters and set scheudling to allow continuity and productivity Extensive RAMS for all operations on site to minimise contact, risks and also appraise accordingly. Sites adhering to this check list should open and recommence,
  • Posted by ArchieM May 05, 2020 at 13:32

    The longer the lockdown continues the more damage will be done to the economy, the economy has to reopen gradually and safely I don’t see any reason why manufacturers and construction companies cannot open up very soon with appropriate safety techniques to maintain distances.
  • Posted by gles1964 May 05, 2020 at 13:34

    Construction sites have always had lower hygiene standards than other sectors, due in part to being temporary work places. It is also a fact that of all the prohibition notices issued by HSE in Scotland, over 60% of them were in the construction industry. The requirements for re opening construction sites must not be lower than other sectors, and must also include external enforcement of the rules to ensure compliance, simply writing a risk assessment to get the site open isn't good enough
  • Posted by Jennifer May 05, 2020 at 13:34

    Agree with poppy. How will you ensure workplaces are safe and sticking to strict hygiene guidance? Employees should not work in small offices or without adequate ventilation, what checks will be done to ensure employee safety so that workplaces don’t relax hygiene rules. Also public transport, trains and buses are so full that people are standing on top of each other - will there be a restriction on number of passengers? And in turn more services? Danger is people forced back to work and forced into congested transport.
  • Posted by melder92 May 05, 2020 at 13:35

    The restrictions in place for current supermarkets should be put in place in other retail sectors. How much risk is there in supermarkets? If it is low then these sectors should be prioritised along with construction.
  • Posted by iwhelan May 05, 2020 at 13:37

    Allow businesses to manage their own return to work and on their own timescales. Every business and director has a duty of care to their workforce. There are legal responsibilities. Criteria should be set to allow directors to consider whether a return is feasible for their business e.g. - Amount of interaction their business has with the wider public. The more they have, the harder it will be for them to mitigate the risks (and/or the more factors they will have to consider and deal with). The less interaction they have, the easier it will be. - The nature of their premises and density of occupation / nature of work. An office services business with open plan office and ability to maintain sensible social distancing within the office can be considered very low risk. A manufacturing business with a production line and a need to transfer product from hand to hand or a retail business is clearly higher risk. Ultimately many risks can be mitigated and the onus should be on allowing directors to find solutions for their business within a framework. - The ability to allow workforce to continue to WFH if preferred. Where businesses can allow a large element of choice for their staff on whether they wish to continue to WFH if preferred or required due to commuting, health or childcare issues, then those business are better placed to return to work than those that can't. Other criteria should be set, but allow directors to assess and make their own decisions.
  • Posted by gayleboa May 05, 2020 at 13:38

    I work in an office on a Scottish government contract but for the private sector. We work in a fairly small office with a high turnover of participants on programme who are seen face-to face for upwards of half an hour. It would not be possible to return to work safely unless screens are installed, the small waiting area radically redesigned, training courses with no more than 4 people present, cleaning between every participant, a resolution to shared areas (toilets, kitchen area etc). I can't see how this would be possible presently. We have a major issue with participants turning up suffering illness and not seeing why this is a problem at the best of times!
  • Posted by twentyoneforever May 05, 2020 at 13:40

    I am a self employed lone worker in Land Surveying and cannot work under the present rules. Development often needs a survey for planning permission application, this holds up development if not in place. Many non urban sites requiring a survey are free of people and no public contact. Perfectly possible to maintain 2m social distance if required. The survey sector would not require a specific dispensation, the nature of working safely can be covered by a wider industry directive.
  • Posted by lilacm May 05, 2020 at 14:02

    I own a chain of beauty salons. From looking at the guidance in Ireland they obviously feel that this is a higher risk yet other close contact businesses in different sectors will have been allowed to open with PPE sooner. Prior to lockdown we were asking all clients to wash hands when entering, ensuring space between customers and cleaning all surfaces in-between clients. Obviously we cannot maintain 2m between customers and clients but if both parties are wearing masks and other ppe and we are working to appointments only I feel it is a safer environment than a lot of bigger retail environments who are open. Another option would be to test the temperature of all clients like dentists I believe are going to be doing. Finally if we are not allowed to open but retail shops are will service businesses be allowed to open just for retailing but not to provide services?
  • Posted by Alex2005 May 05, 2020 at 14:04

    My first question on this is:- How long will it be to get all parts of the economy up and running? What happens to those furloughed if England opens businesses before Scotland? Will we still be paid? Sorry folks but we all open together or unemployment will soar many businesses are closing now uncertainty on when they can reopen is causing many to say can’t do this anymore. My company have been great so far but even they will have to look at the costs and personally I believe they will close outlets North of the central belt very soon if we can’t reopen.
  • Posted by GrahamChristie78 May 05, 2020 at 14:09

    I agree with comments above regarding the property market. It should be possible to implement guidelines, e.g. use of appropriate face coverings/ masks, etc., to allow removal firms to facilitate the many sales that are currently on hold. To avoid issues with public transport, the government should insist that employers continue with home working wherever possible. The technology is there to work effectively. Perhaps offer some incentives to encourage cycling to work (I believe the French gov have some sort of scheme with vouchers for cycle repairs to get old bikes back on the road). Packaged trains and buses must be avoided. I think face covering for public transport and shops needs to be upped from a recommendation to a stipulation.
  • Posted by EmiRem May 05, 2020 at 14:14

    As a retail worker I have been feeling very anxious about the prospect of going back to work soon, since we constantly engage with the public. When the time comes for businesses to open again, it should be made sure that the companies comply to strict social distancing and hygiene rules to make sure that the staff and the customers are safe. Limiting the amount of people allowed in stores at a time is key and the number of staff allowed to work at a time should be considered as well. Overall, the opening of businesses should be gradual, starting with the more essential ones and so on, to try and not overwhelm the transport sector, so it would be possible to carry on social distancing rules on the public transport. I am confident that the Scottish Government will do the right thing and I am delighted to see that they are open for feedback and ideas from the public.
  • Posted by anniec May 05, 2020 at 14:16

    I believe that there is huge capability to complete house sales/purchases that have been on hold. Land Registry have work arounds for registering the change of ownership. Benefits for a number of businesse include - Banks - how many mortgage offers are sitting waiting to be completed. Banks currently earning no interest on these funds. Solicitors have the capability to complete which again would recover income stream. Estate agents who have fees outstanding until property sale/purchase is complete. Removers - even given current distancing restrictions there is no reason that a removal could not be completed in the guidelins for social distancing. As I'm sure everyone in the chain is keen to get moving the economic benefits become considerable. That is over and above the frustration and mental stress for those involved.
  • Posted by mike May 05, 2020 at 14:25

    As I see it, as we progress through this crisis, it won't be a case of trying to eliminate all infection but more to limit it as far as we reasonably can. It has has to be a very gradual (and experimental almost) easing. It is also a time to re-examine how we can change lives for the better. There are some easy and logical bits of easing, not life changing or necessarily a major impact on the economy but will do much for generally creating a feeling of progress and optimism within the populace. For example someone has already mentioned garden centres and nurseries which surely can readily operate with the required standards of social distancing. Re-open recycling centres again with appropriate measures in place. Surely small shops with rules such as one customer at a time makes sense. Construction work and a gradual re-opening of schools, particularly nurseries could follow coupled with sensible precautionary measures as these must be so important to our economy and society but of course subject to close monitoring of rate of further infection. However, I fail to see the importance/relevance of such things as the re-opening of betting shops also mentioned earlier and I have to question the case for bridal shops. Our politicians are being pestered for plans as to how we come out of lockdown - to a large extent this is both unwise and unfair. A rigid plan would be inappropriate and fraught with danger. The approach has to be flexible and each step dependent on careful monitoring. While our politicians are answerable to the people they should not have to endure some of the crass questioning of some elements of the press/media, some of whom are still hell-bent on just trying to catch them out for another "gotcha!" which gets us nowhere.
  • Posted by SimonShearer May 05, 2020 at 14:37

    I think that when the time comes to consider reopening accommodation services, e.g. hotels, then self-catering properties and caravan/camping sites should be allowed to open first. Such properties can be opened while ensuring isolation and social distancing as long as there are no public areas such as bars and restaurants on site. I accept that such properties should not be in the first wave of reopenings but they should not be in the last wave either.
  • Posted by ChrisHutchings May 05, 2020 at 14:38

    Given how many people in the construction sector already wear particle-filtering masks on a regular basis, it wouldn't be particularly difficult to expand this to the whole sector in terms of compliance (supply of masks might be a little trickier). Combine this with reasonable social distancing at work (no canteens, bring your own lunch or flask of tea, any people doing close work together must wear gloves, etc.) and there is very little risk on the average construction site. However, commuting to the site is likely to pose a considerably greater risk, so this might create a class-based restriction whereby only people with their own cars would be able to go to work. Some allowances might have to be made for people to get lifts from colleagues if there is no other way for them to reach the site.
  • Posted by Kenwayt May 05, 2020 at 14:47

    Many of us are still going to be stuck at home and summer is fast approaching gardening for many provides an excellent recreation and can lift spirits so I believe now is the time to let garden centres to reopen with strict social distancing put in place. Wearing of face coverings mandatory.
  • Posted by Aa May 05, 2020 at 14:57

    If workplaces/shops can allow for sage distancing, there is no reason for them not to be allowed to open. Outdoor work should be easy to allow to resume with the reduced risks.
  • Posted by Bonnie50 May 05, 2020 at 14:59

    I agree with iwhelan, businesses should be able to manage their own return to work for their workforce following the guidelines. I work in an office building where we are lucky enough that the majority of the 35 staff have their own offices. Social distancing measures can be met with no problem and at the moment most of us are working from home (albeit not to full capacity of my normal workload). Before lockdown staff all took precautions as required and this would just carry on as before.
  • Posted by thomast May 05, 2020 at 15:02

    HOLIDAY PARKS: my issue is the opening of holiday parks. I own a static caravan on a park less than an hours drive from my home. Example, my wife and I leave my house, drive to the caravan, park and enter thereafter it then becomes my home. I have not interacted in any way with any other person. I only then act as I would at home. The other people residing in the holiday park are the same. Has any harm been caused - I would suggest not. Benefits are people get a change of scene and a better outlook, a small community gets a much needed cash injection, and the park business keeps operating instead of collapsing. Some degree off personal freedom of movement and choice must be given, or the goodwill and compliance of the vast majority of folk will be lost.
  • Posted by NeilW May 05, 2020 at 15:12

    We work in manufacturing and would hope the lockdown restrictions will be relaxed shortly with the social distancing measures in place. One of the obvious conditions will be the wearing of face masks when the 2m rule cannot be implemented - my question would be is where to source these masks?
  • Posted by isolation2020 May 05, 2020 at 15:12

    small businesses such as hairdressers where there may be only two staff and size of premises allows can socially distance having only one client in at a time or two clients (one each) if from same family. Staff can be tested for covid 19 prior to openening Hairdressers can wear plastic aprons masks and glove ( This is worn by nursing staff in green zone) and deemed appropriate PPE also clients can wear face covering. All equipment used should be cleaned in between clients and work surfaces sinks chairs also cleaned between clients. Any products or items displayed in salon for sale should be removed and stored elsewhere to cut down on cleaning of salon at the end of the day.
  • Posted by davemgk1989 May 05, 2020 at 15:31

    Demographical rotational wrist banding with unique identifier. Take Glasgow for instance - circa 600,000 people / 4 weeks in a month = 150,000 people Week 1 (e.g Yellow wristband) - 150,000 randomly selected members within Glasgow council area given yellow wristband and allowed to go about daily life by visiting e.g parks, cinemas, restaurants, hairdressers , general businesses. Week 2 (E.g Blue wristband) - next 150,000 follow suit and are integrated back in to daily life whilst respecting restrictions. Week 3/4 - Same as 1 and 2. I accept this may be unlikely but by giving people a unique wristband or some other identifier we would be preventing a mass influx of people to concentrated areas when restrictions are eased. By trialling this over a significant period we are easing back into a new normal, whilst also allowing businesses to steadily get back on their feet safely.
  • Posted by rjm May 05, 2020 at 15:31

    Closure of Holiday Accommodation It is important that when the time is right and risk has been reduced that there is a clear understanding of the differing types of "holiday accommodation" within Scotland, whilst some offer rental accommodation by means of static caravans, lodges or cottages and may or may not have communal recreational areas, restaurants, bars and shops, others are owner occupied single properties often in very rural areas with little or no facilities nearby. Some smaller caravan parks are solely owner occupied with a no rental policy and no communal or leisure areas. As such the opportunity for "mass gatherings" is an option in some locations but not in others. The risk assessment as such must be considered for each category. It would be unfair to apply a ruling across the board as this may impact on the private owner and their ability to access their holiday home which they could safely do without increased risk providing lockdown precautions are maintained. Further consideration could be given to restricting the number of residents visiting caravan parks at any one time and to space out rental allocation by location and thereby enhance physical distancing. The majority of the Scottish population had adhered to lockdown protocols and this has been effective, however it is important that population morale is also maintained and some relaxation which will permit sensible utilisation of holiday homes/caravan parks within a controlled manner will not only boost spirits but assist in kick starting rural economy in Scotland.
  • Posted by ifu03359 May 05, 2020 at 15:31

    Please re-open dentists and allow routine appointments to start up again - just for peace of mind and to ensure that there are no later issues with tooth decay. They routinely wear masks and we could be told to arrive at the door just in time for our appointment. Garden centres re-opening would make a lot of people happy and larger ones could easily use social distancing measures and contactless payment.
  • Posted by JonathanC18 May 05, 2020 at 15:42

    As a Landlord of a small flat, which is currently empty, which has a couple wanting to move in, would suggest that this could be allowed if landlord/agents electronically sign documents and for handover of keys, could on the day in question, be at the property to unlock, leave keys inside and then the tenants can move in without need of handling keys, a second set could be washed and dried and left in sealed envelope. This would allow any blocking in the rental market to start to be unblocked. The same could apply to sales of property, particularly when there is no furniture to be moved out of the property.
  • Posted by Deborah760 May 05, 2020 at 15:47

    My husband works in a small garage where only 2 people have been working since lockdown. If they want to bring other staff back from furlough they will need to have sufficient PPE but at the moment they cannot source this from suppliers. Therefore they have no option but to remain as they are as the garage is too small a space to have more than a couple of people working using social distancing. If PPE was widely available; masks, gloves and seat covers they could open- get places making PPE on mass as it will be needed EVERYWHERE. Invest in this and we will save money in the long run.
  • Posted by Stirlig May 05, 2020 at 15:49

    We need clarity on how long the government thinks that cafes and the wider hospitality industry is going to have to remain closed. As a small business owner (cafe) we believe that we have done the responsible thing and stayed closed so that we do not encourage our customers to make unnecessary journeys to collect takeaway coffees etc. It seems perverse that small businesses that have no doubt taken the government grant and probably the self-employed support scheme are re-opening and continuing to trade. There is no justifiable reason for people going out to collect takeaways, go to the chip van etc etc while the current lockdown restrictions are in place. We do however need to have some idea about how long we are going to be closed and what support there is going to be after June 2020. We want to do the right thing but we still need to be able to support ourselves.
  • Posted by MichaelStew50 May 05, 2020 at 15:51

    The current and extended lock down has clearly been effective and with some exceptions most of us have complied. The next phase as laid out in the government's current paper being structured, managed and based on test, trace and isolate and ongoing application of distancing and effective hygiene measures is critical. But the reality is that getting back to work, schools etc will not be possible if the present physical distancing is applied in a blanket fashion. As is being proposed, a return to work in those outside and where there is space is critical and should be in parallel with the available school capacities being used to enable people to get back to work. There are realities for sure and changes that will require guidance, trust and reasons to comply for a business. Government assistance with increased costs, HS&W compliance (new for covid) should be considered to start. Moreover, a communications campaign that creates confidence in the return to work is critical. Having said we needed to stay at home to be safe and save the NHS, there is ow a need to reshape the message to get us out of what has been a safe comfort zone. When the furlough stops we need to be ready to be back at work, plying the new awareness of distance, hygiene and for vulnerable this may mean a need for different support if they are not able to return to their job. The government direction is sound. It will take longer and we need to get back to work or we will not be bale to afford to pay for the NHS and all the good work.
  • Posted by paulthevol May 05, 2020 at 16:07

    Physical distancing is the critical issue. There seems no reason not to relax the rules for outdoor work where space is self-evident. That would go for surveying of all sorts as well as practical work. The argument for opening garden centres (with the precautions already shown by supermarkets) is easy to support
  • Posted by mklayne May 05, 2020 at 16:27

    Getting construction work going back again - with masks - would make a huge difference to getting things moving again - it's 10% of Scottish workers, so that would be a great first industry.
  • Posted by Whisk3y May 05, 2020 at 16:28

    I think businesses that have the ability to put in social distancing measures should be given the option to reopen whether that be retail, construction, etc
  • Posted by KEVIN May 05, 2020 at 16:38

    It is wrong to say that construction is not public facing.It depends on the setting ,if it is an office complex in a greenfield site it is not facing the public,but if it is a construction scheme in the middle of a residential area it is public facing.What is often ignored is that the effect of diesel and petrol fumes,noise from piledrivers and noise from pumps and generators running at night can affect people and can have a negative impact on health.For example if machinery runs at night it can have a negative impact on the ability of people to build up their immunity systems ,and fight infection.Also diesel and petrol fumes can be carcogenic and can cause Chronic pulmonary disease which can limit an individuals ability to fight Covid 19.So construction sites need to pay more heed to the impact on the communitys they work in .It should be a condition of going back to work that they restrict the use of pumps and generators to daytime only,except where there is a direct risk to life and property.They should also change to electric and hydrogen power,the latter of which is 80 per cent cleaner and quitter than diesel .A cleaner environement could help people recovering from Covid 19 and the construction industry can play an important part in this.
  • Posted by Benalder May 05, 2020 at 16:39

    If this continues for much longer then for a significant number of businesses there may not be businesses to be re-opened. CLearly business should only be operating where it is safe for them to do so - but this is always the case and it is only the conteext that has changed. Clearly some sectors (pubs, clubs, many restuarants etc.) may find 'safe operation' in the new post-COVID world impossible, impracticable and/or unviable but HSE guidance on what constitutes safe operation in different sectors will be vital. It will also need Ministers to start giving the impression that this is something they wish to see though (easy not to be too bothered when they are not picking up the tab for furlough schemes etc.)?
  • Posted by DrT May 05, 2020 at 16:49

    The housing market should be enabled to proceed with safe social distancing measures being implemented.
  • Posted by Bsmith May 05, 2020 at 17:01

    I would like the work of complementary health workers to be considered as part of the whole health care provision and be allowed to carry out at least essential work. I work as a bodyworker and trauma therapist and my clients benefit both emotionally and physically. I am being contacted by clients looking for support at this time. If we were considered part of the health care and well-being provision then we could use our professional judgement to decide when a face to face session might be deemed essential for someone's mental well-being and physical well-being. The same protective measures could be used as the rest of the heatlth service. We have a whole lot of therapists who have a lot to offer to keep us all well emotionally and physically, and currently we are not able to use our skills for the benefit of the community. Thanks for your consideration.
  • Posted by simonm May 05, 2020 at 17:09

    I am in construction and selfishly would look for this to be opened up as soon as is viable, however there will need to be robust and structured site H&S arrangements in place - I am aware that a number of main contractors are working on/have these in place, however this needs to be reflected by sub-contractors and sensible working practices need to be agreed as there are multiple trades where social distancing is just not possible and use of masks etc/restricting time spent in close contact to 15 minutes is impracticable and virtually unenforceable? much as I dislike centralising of authority I think in this instance that the Government should be stating what is acceptable - not recommending or advising as unfortunately I do not share some others view on this thread that leaving this to the employer is an option.
  • Posted by Qwe123 May 05, 2020 at 17:11

    I would like to see outdoor leisure where social distancing is possible being opened relatively early (eg golf, tennis)
  • Posted by Balford May 05, 2020 at 17:19

    I'm convinced the progress in suppressing COVID19 has been severely compromised by allowing hardware superstores like B&Q and Homebase to open to the public. All the physical distancing in the world is pointless in such stores where shoppers will naturally pick up or take objects from shelves examine them and put them back. We know the virus lives on hard surfaces for up to 72hr. An infection transmission paradise for the virus. Sadly it is probably too late but I advocate closing these stores in Scotland through the next review cycle.
  • Posted by Craig_joiner_wastingaway May 05, 2020 at 18:10

    Scottish government is just a puppet for the English government. Nicola sturgeon needs to find her balls and open up places of WORK for the self employed. People that she has failed so miserably in this time of crisis. People like myself who contribute hundreds of pounds in tax a WEEK left to survive off of live savings or sign on to the dole for whatever peanuts they will give. Absolutely shocking. Get the building sites open so we can take back control of our lives and dig this country out of the grave
  • Posted by concernedparentandworker May 05, 2020 at 18:58

    If we dont open other businesses what them for the furlough scheme, we can not continue forever with furlough so what then? If someone requires an office to be open in order to carry out their duties will these people just be made redundant when furlough ends?
  • Posted by RossK May 05, 2020 at 19:23

    We need to get businesses back running again. I honestly believe that most businesses can operate safely if they show a bit of ingenuity about how they operate and accept it will be different. Show some trust in our businesses to find a way that works for them and allow them to get back. Get Garden Centres open straight away - should never have closed. They are safer than supermarkets. Offices can be very flexible with a mix of home and office time on some sort of rota. with different office layouts etc. Working safely post lockdown is not rocket science - it just needs a flexible and pragmatic approach and a good dose of common sense.
  • Posted by beykayak May 05, 2020 at 19:34

    I don’t understand why businesses of non essential services are currently allowed to be open when it draws people from their houses to go to them eg B&Q, Costa coffee. This cannot be described as buying essential supplies unless you are an emergency plumber for example. I think if businesses are allowed to be open it needs to be only if it involves a necessary service or a very small number of people can definitely be involved rather than queues of people being drawn to a shop. Businesses should be signed off as safe before being allowed to open again.
  • Posted by T101 May 05, 2020 at 19:49

    Commercial Dog Walkers - we provide a service paramount to animal welfare and this was duly recognised by the Government as we were named as those allowed to continue to work. By the same token you then a few days later closed all parks and open spaces leaving our industry with absolutely nowhere to go to do our job. The great outdoors is our 'office' and you pulled the shutters down and this decision has destroyed many pet businesses and impacted on animal welfare. Whilst one can grasp the logic in the decision to close these spaces, could there be some form of exemptions for those of us that need access to outdoor spaces in order to carry our jobs?
  • Posted by adnil May 05, 2020 at 20:24

    Any business with the ability to allow office staff to work effectively from home should be strongly encouraged to continue this until next year. This will continue to reduce numbers on public transport and roads.
  • Posted by Raven765 May 05, 2020 at 20:34

    Only essential business should re-open first. Non-essential businesses should stay closed for as long as possible. We have a spike in the Highlands because of queues of people outside B&Q! Please close these non-essential stores, and others, like garden centres allowing click and collect. Lots of people together chatting while they wait for their plant collection. Hardly essential and not worth dying for. The amount of people wanting hairdressers to open so they can look nice. Nice for their funeral? Too many business owners are thinking about their pockets instead of thinking of the lives of others. Please keep non-essential business closed.
  • Posted by DMacDonald May 05, 2020 at 20:46

    Please carefully consider the outdoor and sport sector. In addition to the exceptionally important physical and mental health benefits to getting people outdoors, there is a very large sector of people who work in this sector. Please don't forget about them - people like mountain and river guides and exceptionally well trained and thoughtful individuals who can easily find ways to manage physical distancing but if the lockdown is too extreme they'll lose their homes before they get the chance to get back to work.
  • Posted by Jane4 May 05, 2020 at 20:53

    I suggest that solicitors and estate agents be re-opened. Appointment based businesses are ideally placed to manage social distancing and typically work with small numbers of people. Settling estates of people that have died needs to continue soon otherwise remaining family are left with mounting debts and maintenance and council tax for properties if they cannot sell them. Many families have been left in limbo expecting to move home and then suddenly unable to.
  • Posted by Teresa May 05, 2020 at 20:54

    Office workers must not be expected to work at home indefinitely. The quality of the work is often reduced and significant amounts of additional time is required to support and motivate staff. Many people see going to work as an important part of their wellbeing and restricting this is having an adverse impact on mental health. Younger people in particular are finding it more difficult to work from home. They often live in substandard, cramped accommodation. They are not getting the support and development that would greatly benefit from possibly having a long term damage to their career. For businesses it is very difficult to recruit or redeploy staff to new roles so stifling business.
  • Posted by LAM May 05, 2020 at 21:37

    We must allow construction/building trades to start working again. Restrictions here are tougher than other parts of the UK and there must be ways to do this safely. Garden centres and nurseries should also be allowed to reopen - these very seasonal businesses are being destroyed while big DIY stores selling similar stuff get to open.
  • Posted by wtyoung53 May 05, 2020 at 21:42

    I would like you to consider allowing the property/estate agents/removal businesses to re-open and operate and allow the frozen house sales to be completed before the consequences are disastrous for the sellers, buyers, mortgage offers lapsing and house values plummeting, thereby freezing the market even further. My son and his fiancé have both sold their flats and have bought a house nearer their place of work, but the whole process is frozen due to the lockdown and the Registers of Scotland being closed. The sales could be completed in a safe managed format, as could the removal, as the removal firm has already notified them of their planned procedure for working. please consider getting this easy process moving again and spark some business into the economy whilst allowing young people to start their lies together.
  • Posted by Babscox22 May 05, 2020 at 22:20

    The current situation is confusing and unfair. How can it be ok for firms such as B&Q , B&M non essential be open and making £££ and encouraging people to make non essential journeys. yet shops who could comply with restrictions are not able to open. We saw the ridiculous situation where there was traffic jams for a coffee shop! It’s disgraceful. We need to have a clear direction for all shops and consistency.
  • Posted by Stephaniekeachie May 05, 2020 at 22:22

    Solicitors and solicitors estate agents are key to open not only will this unfreeze the property market and help the economy it will allow other legal matters to be dealt with Power of attorneys, wills executrys, as well as conveyancing. Viewings can follow social distancing by limiting the number of people attending viewings and potentially wearing masks
  • Posted by Stephaniekeachie May 05, 2020 at 22:24

    Self catering holiday cottages can be easily opened back up restrictions on visitors being from the U.K. only. Perhaps making them sign a health declaration and also providing cleaning guidelines. Perhaps guests should bring their own towels and sheets and pillow cases (this is what we do at our cottage) once a guest arrives at the cottage it is easy for them to do social distancing.
  • Posted by crglkhrt May 05, 2020 at 22:31

    Many businesses that have been forced to close could be trading under alternative operating procedures. The current restrictions are imposing unnecessary hardship on SMEs and their employees that could otherwise be avoided. This will lead to a huge number of SMEs going under, resulting in large scale unemployment. The mental health impact on those affected by this will be devastating and will last much longer than this pandemic.
  • Posted by eroomxul May 05, 2020 at 23:06

    Allow any retail premises to re-open providing social distancing can be achieved. Why allow supermarkets to open but not garden centres? This is causing huge harm to the economy.
  • Posted by MGlasfam May 05, 2020 at 23:56

    Employers should be obligated to allow you to work from home if the nature of your job allows that until a vaccine is available for everyone.
  • Posted by Shielder May 06, 2020 at 00:26

    I agree that B&Q, The Range. Takeaway Coffee shops etc should be ordered to close immediately to help lower the current positive case numbers to a level that makes track, trace, isolate manageable. They're not essential, if you need anything you can order it on-line or just make yourself a cup of coffee. To many people pick up items in the stores and put them back, possibly contaminating them if they have the virus but are not yet showing symptoms or asymptomatic. This could be happening in supermarkets too, but food is essential. It gets a bit farcical listening to press briefings when politicians are politely raising concerns about increased traffic on the roads and asking if that take away coffee people are queuing for is really essential. It's not essential, and it's clearly causing concern, so close them down until the next review period at the end of May. You have the power to enforce it, so use it. The lockdown has been too soft and I think most people recognise it came too late for far too many!
  • Posted by RayCavanagh1962 May 06, 2020 at 02:15

    I run a small private gym (for the sport of Olympic Weightlifting only) this is not a gym open to the public and membership only and with 40 sportspersons waiting to get back to compete for the Commonwealth Games etc. I have more than enough space to social distance more than the recommended 2 metres as we need to work on platforms which is larger than the 2 metres for one person. each person has a platform to themselves for the duration of their session (1.5hrs) as well as a full compliment of weights etc. the gym can be timetabled for each group of 8 lifters throughout the day over 7 days and we have essential cleaning practises after each group are finished with equipment and before the next group come in...we also have hand sanitiser in the bathroom, outside the bathroom..at the entrance door...and at each platform with tape on the floor to make sure we do not step out our boundaries . We do not need to go near other lifters (the coach on rare occasion if lifters are requiring a catch but this is still at a distance of 6 feet from either side of the person. We have the means to make this work and did it quite well as we implemented this before lockdown for a few weeks successfully. The small private gyms are very different from the large corporate gyms and relay heavily on keeping memberships going or they go out of business as we still need to pay rent, electric and water bills whether we are there or not and most small gyms already struggle to make ends meet so are not eligible for government grants or Universal credit.
  • Posted by JockCrawford May 06, 2020 at 05:47

    I work for a business that is still operating during this time. To do so safely we follow these policies: 1. Working from home for those who can 2. Social distancing and hygiene policies adhered to, enforced by management and signed for daily by staff. Safety meeting each morning to discuss possible issues or breaches. 4. Limit the number of employees on site, restrict numbers in certain areas like control rooms and canteens, staggered start/end times, break times. 3. Travel to and from workplace to be restricted to indivudals own transport, i.e. no use of public transport 4. New paperless/electronic systems in place to lessen people touching same paperwork, paperwork no longer leaving site with deliveries or being handed in. Electronic handovers between staff. 5. Legislative and must do maintenance only to restrict numbers of contractors and non employees on site.
  • Posted by Alex1959 May 06, 2020 at 06:50

    As a person whose house is currently under offer subject to the person's house been sold I would suggest that the functions of Estate Agents can be carried out under current social distancing rules. Obviously the sale would have an effect of boosting the economy. Similarly we have a deposit on a new house where the Construction site is currently closed. Again from an economic perspective if they could re-open sites again under strict social distancing guidelines the benefits would be wide ranging for employers, employees and selfishly my family.
  • Posted by Philwhitfield May 06, 2020 at 07:12

    So important to get the economy functioning again. That can't be risk free but neither is a country in poverty for a generation.
  • Posted by Mo May 06, 2020 at 08:17

    To stop fly tipping would it not be possible to open recycling centres with a one in one out policy. That would ensure everyone keeping their social distancance.
  • Posted by lindamarshall May 06, 2020 at 08:54

    Pubs and restaurants must be opened for people's wellbeing. Pubs and restaurants form part of communities and, by using the Scandinavian models, can use safeguarding measures such as distances between tables. Being stuck in a prolonged lock-down is detrimental to people's mental health and going out to a pub or restaurant gives a sense of structure to people's week and something to look forward to. It is also vital that they open soon before their businesses go to the wall.
  • Posted by lindamarshall May 06, 2020 at 08:54

    Pubs and restaurants must be opened for people's wellbeing. Pubs and restaurants form part of communities and, by using the Scandinavian models, can use safeguarding measures such as distances between tables. Being stuck in a prolonged lock-down is detrimental to people's mental health and going out to a pub or restaurant gives a sense of structure to people's week and something to look forward to. It is also vital that they open soon before their businesses go to the wall.
  • Posted by Mags1 May 06, 2020 at 09:23

    Opening businesses would need to go hand in hand with "The Bubble" idea as childcare then comes to the fore as well. How will some people be able to attend work again if they have no supporting option for childcare. My children are grown up now but as a working mum for years this would be a huge issue.
  • Posted by laurenforbes361 May 06, 2020 at 10:11

    Given that essential work is currently allowed in homes (plumbing, electrics, gas, broadband installation etc) clearly it has already been proven that trades can safely work within homes. Enhanced H&S, limiting the number of individuals present and ensuring customers remain in separate rooms during work allows for this. This would be a real boost to the economy and would get millions back to work.
  • Posted by AnnaKucharska May 06, 2020 at 10:36

    Recycling centres should opened ASAP, the amount of rubbish being dumped is awful. The only time I’ve used my car recently has been to the only big bin skip I know to get rid of bottles & to go to the farm shop nearby which feels safer than the supermarkets. Garden centres should also be open.
  • Posted by malonk May 06, 2020 at 11:21

    Along with seeing close family getting business safely running again has to the the country’s priority next phase. All businesses should be compelled to risk assess and put in controls to ensure social distancing. Business should return in a phased way: 1. Construction and manufacturing 2. Retail 3. Restaurants and bars outside 4. All sector
  • Posted by Nicmullan May 06, 2020 at 11:26

    Gyms should be opened where they can have smaller group sessions and clean regularly.
  • Posted by williamfleming May 06, 2020 at 11:34

    Small private gyms being able to open with social distancing and cleaning measures in place like were implemented pre lockdown.
  • Posted by glasgowdoctor May 06, 2020 at 11:37

    The hospitality industry has been talked about as being likely to be one of the last to "reopen". In my view this doesn't have to be the case. Clearly if social distancing remains in place for a number of months - as seems sensible - many small restaurants, bars and cafes will struggle to comply with the rules. However, there are many many bars and restaurants with large floor spaces which would allow tables to be placed more than 2 metres apart and "walkways" to be arranged to allow entry and exit safely (although in my mind, based on what we know about transmission of respiratory viruses, someone walking quickly past a table really presents no infection risk in any case). See Phillies in the southside of Glasgow, GWR on Great Western Road in Glasgow and the Glasgow Academical Sports Club bar as examples of this sort of establishment. Also, many smaller restaurants feature booth seating. In my mind, perspex screens could easily be erected between booths and at the entrance to booths which would eradicate the risk of aerosol and droplet transmission between tables. See Partick Duck Club in Partick for an example of this booth seating. The hospitality sector is in a fortunate position in that they are already inspected regularly by local council environmental health departments so it would be very straightforward to ensure measures put in place met any regulations set down by Holyrood. Clearly it is desirable to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission. However, we cannot eradicate risk of anything, including COVID-19 transmission. Policy needs to be about managing transmission this risk and balance it against other factors such as the undoubted morbidity that will come along with the poverty faced by those who work in the hospitality sector if steps aren't made to reopen dining establishments in a safe manner. Finally, as I have mentioned regarding schooling, I think it is of utmost importance that the Scottish Government actively analyses data from and correspond with their counterparts in Sweden and South Korea where restaurants remain open and in Italy and some far eastern countries where re-opening of restaurants is beginning to take place.
  • Posted by AMNCL0605 May 06, 2020 at 11:55

    It is imperative that we get the economy going again however as you suggest using phased approaches. If we can queue in an orderly format outside supermarkets and DIY stores, I am sure we are adult enough to queue outside all shops! Wherever possible those who can work from home continue to do so but we need to see service providers now providing a better service and customers not having to wait 2 hours on telephone lines to speak to someone during emergencies. If you cannot work from home, social distancing measures to be put in place, this may mean extended shift patterns, staggered work times (to help with public transport) plastic screens where possible, one way systems etc as has happened in many large supermarkets for staff. Public transport to be fully operational with more services run if possible - everyone to wear masks on public transport. Safety screens on busses (most have these) one way system on and off busses. Construction sites - have been opened in other countries and this seems to be working well. Hospitals to be opened up for cancer treatments, transplants necessary surgery etc. Recycling centres to open immediately - people are already fly tipping! All outdoor work can easily be done using social distancing measures! Cafes and restaurants firstly in take away format in longer term perhaps those with outdoor areas first accepting only small nos to begin with then indoor again using the Swedish model. Sweden has not locked down and has lower death rate - look also at how Germany is dealing with this.
  • Posted by Wanamuffin May 06, 2020 at 11:55

    The current restrictions on lone rural working are nuts and make no sense from any perspective, but especially from a risk assessment one. Let gamekeepers, photographers, artists, foresters get back to work ASAP.
  • Posted by Rabg May 06, 2020 at 11:59

    From what we have seen with Britain having the highest rates in Europe and only second behind the USA in total numbers, we have to learn the lessons of not going in a lockdown scenario sooner. Therefore coming out of the lockdown will be more damaging in the long term as the risk of a second or 3rd wave of the virus would be far higher. The lockdown should be extended till the end of June, so that the ‘R’ value has the best chance to come down, therefore reducing the risk of any further lockdowns in the future. If we reduce measures then before then people will naturally become more relaxed about the measures in place and the risk of further lockdowns would be inevitable. If the ‘R’ value is brought down to 0.1 or lower then it would be fair to say that we have beaten this, any higher would risk further infection and further lockdown. If we start to ease lockdown at the end of May then we are half heartedly beating this and not giving everybody the best chance to come out of this and resume normal life quicker. Short term pain for long term gain. If we lockdown till end of June then and the ‘R’ value is down at 0.1 or lower then we can basically resume normal life instead of prolonged agony of semi lockdown, social distancing for the rest of the year! For an extra 4-5 weeks of full lockdown is better than having another 5-6 months of a semi life that’s actually just rubbish. Children not getting the education they deserve because they are not at school as they should be, work places like the hospitality industries not being able to operate as they should. If we come out of lockdown end of May in stages we are just prolonging the agony of not being able to go to the pub, restaurant, work place, playing football with your friends or playing any sport with your friends. Why the contribution is important This idea is important because it’s the simplest and most effective way to beat this situation. Common sense should prevail and rushing back would in the long run just extend this period instead of beating this period and returning to a normal life. If we didn’t do this it would be like getting a prescription for antibiotics from your doctor and only taking half the course prescribed instead of the full course. The chance that you’ll be back at the doctors for another course of antibiotics would be inevitable. Just think about it!!!
  • Posted by AM22 May 06, 2020 at 12:05

    Clear guidance will support employees and employers to do do the right thing. However, there will need to be agencies with the powers to ensure employees and members of the public are protected in line with the guidance. Could environmental health officers and HSE inspectors provide advice and support to businesses to do the right thing and have powers to take action where required.
  • Posted by Djalaodbdld May 06, 2020 at 12:26

    I think that retail stores should remain closed if they can provide an online/delivery option instead. This will reduce the number of people making journeys/congregating in one area.
  • Posted by TonyFinn May 06, 2020 at 13:37

    Trust people and Open all businesses and social events
  • Posted by LDStewart May 06, 2020 at 13:53

    Could there be a reward system for encouraging organisations to allow people to work from home? There have been considerable benefits from having less people on the roads and public transport.. We also know that there is a great deal of work that can be done at home so surely this should be encouraged.
  • Posted by JeanE May 06, 2020 at 14:14

    When businesses are allowed to reopen, strictly enforced rules regarding social distancing on public transport is a must, especially in cities. Many people are ignoring social distancing in supermarkets now and I fear it will be the same on public transport. As someone in their mid 60s (WHO state over 60s are at a higher risk) and still having to work, the prospect of being on a packed commuter bus for almost 2 hours daily is frightening.
  • Posted by ACL May 06, 2020 at 14:20

    The economic response must take account of those organisations and businesses that will be at the end of restrictions lifting as well as those at the start. For example, conference events and mass gathering venues. The extension of furlough for specific sectors by Scot Gov, or creation of anew scheme to support them to support their staff will assist greatly and prevent a large number of event staff and companies failing very fast. This will impact on venues like the SEC, P&J Live, EICC and many ,many others. If this isn't considered, then these venues will undoubtedly have to reduce costs and staff numbers will be decimated. A specific event support package is essential, but seems to be behind the curve of tourism or hospitality, despite them being more likely to open sooner. The economic damage to Scotland, our Festivals and Cultural Celebrations would be horrific and irreversible.
  • Posted by WMPC May 06, 2020 at 14:39

    The concern with reopening retail suggests that people will then go outside to use these businesses - this will increase rates of infection and it will be difficult for staff to maintain the spread over their items for sale without ensuring 100% security. We already have companies opening to increase their profits and use the 'essential worker' plea as a defence. Coffee is not an essential journey, or store.
  • Posted by Suleskerry May 06, 2020 at 15:56

    I think that priority should be given to businesses who are needed rather than wanted. e.g. Emergency tradesmen. We don't need DIY superstores or drive thru coffee shops.
  • Posted by angusfife May 06, 2020 at 16:12

    Where social distancing can be maintained do not see why businesses can't re-open. (Gardeners, Window Cleaners etc.) Garden Centres also seem a logical addition as should be able to cope with rules and would bring mental health benefits for general population as well.
  • Posted by jimmcfadyen May 06, 2020 at 16:32

    Close ALL drive through businesses, they should be some of the last to re-open. FM states construction, manufacturing and retail are to be prioritised. I am not so sure about retail particularly in shopping centre environments. It is a slightly lesser concern on High Streets, but would lead to an increase in transportation and more difficulty in social distancing in shopping centres and High Streets. Reliance on managers and the workforce and union leaders (where they exist) to police compliance with social distancing, hygiene facilities and transmission controls (PPE, Ventilation). Pre-start up inspection by council, unannounced inspections by council and HSE after start up. Discourage the use of public transport, by having universal free parking for workers (car sticker??).
  • Posted by Brett May 06, 2020 at 18:02

    Working within and managing a retail store that is considered as non essential my primary concern is the welfare of all stakeholders; how to best serve and protect them. Employees travelling to work do so using public transport or in some circumstances by car. I can ensure my work place adheres to best practice but at this point fear that opening non essential stores will place those in the transport sector at increased risk. Whilst asking my staff to increase their risk without adequate protection, at the moment. How do we prevent overcrowding when traveling to and from the work place. Realising that shoppers will also use these services? The opening of non essential outlets has seen large demand created during lockdown by KFC, Costa, B&Q and is the primary reason given by Greggs to reverse their decision to reopen. If we are to ask people to stay at home, we can not at the same time ask non essential retailers to reopen. The two are mutually inclusive. People can't stay at home and visit retailers. When I do reopen, I have measures available to me to create a safe shopping environment. My company have undertaken extensive works to exceed their duty of care to their stakeholders across the world in varying circumstances. Updating and enforcing guidelines regularly. This won't be the case in other businesses. Stores should only reopen after local authority inspection. My store is located within a shopping centre this becomes difficult outwith my premises. For example queuing, hygiene and distancing within the mall. The mix of goods and flow of customers can be advised but the primary safeguard with distancing is the key message or personal responsibility to show respect to others by maintaining distancing at all times when out and about. I look forward to resolving these issues. However suggest that landlords of shopping centres should have limits for entry and conditions of entry enforced. European stores currently have access to hand sanitiser, facemasks, limits on entry to malls and landlord supported queuing within the malls. Some stores in Europe have reopened and have shown this to be too early and not economic. The furlough system has to be updated to allow part time re-entry to the labour market. Stores should be trading reduced hours and perhaps days. When I return I am in no doubt without intervention by government there will be significant redundancies made. A job retention scheme is not a short term fix. To be successful they must aid employers and employees in the medium to long term. I fear returning to work too early. I fear loosing good staff that will be left unsupported in a saturated labour market. The universal credit system is inadequate at present to support them and should be avoided. Furlough has been about maintaining a workforce that is available to business, it has yet to retain jobs. A return of business in a new normal is a challenge far beyond reopening our doors. Reopening is a incremental process in itself and requires support for all stakeholders.
  • Posted by kmcguire May 06, 2020 at 18:05

    Priority should be given to re-open businesses which are really needed. Businesses such as offices where people are already working from home should be maintained as the virus can be spread so easily in that environment even if social distancing rules are followed as most offices have shared kitchens, toilet facilities, admin facilities etc. Where businesses are already working from home this should be continued.
  • Posted by Donald May 06, 2020 at 19:18

    Small 1/2 person businesses should be allowed to open. If they are accessing a home then one door only entrance, localised work area eg. Bathroom, shower unit. They have to adhere to rules.
  • Posted by Pammybee May 06, 2020 at 20:00

    I think it is critical to allow people who can work from home to do so for as long as possible. I work in a large office and the majority of staff are now successfully working from home. Returning to the office would not be practical as we currently hot desk, a large percentage of staff use public transport which I know is a huge concern for everyone, should we have to use it. It also allows front line staff to use transport without it being overcrowded by people who do not need to use it.
  • Posted by NewYorkChrysler May 06, 2020 at 20:09

    Construction should reopen. Construction Leadership Council have already set out standard operating procedures for sites to work to in England. Manufacturing can follow similar risk reduction strategies and having additional cleaning and hygiene in the workplace. Key manufacturing has stayed open. Ask them to share & promote their safety procedures with others. Office based staff should work from home as much as possible. Infrequent visits to work should be permitted. Dentists and orthodontists must reopen with additional protection such as temperature monitors, visors, masks and increase room ventilation and cleaning. Public transport is a major concern for those going to work. Close proximity to others is likely to lead to further transmission of the virus. Buses and trains should perhaps only permit 30% of seated capacity and also be cleaned more frequently. Hand sanitizer gel available on all public transport.
  • Posted by Mcfuture May 06, 2020 at 20:37

    Business compliance must be monitored as we have just seen 5 workers all within 2 metres. There are also cafes opening within our town this week despite current government guidance that the lockdown restrictions remain unchanged. Businesses seem to be doing what they want!! Also customers queuing inside for take away close to each other. Compliance needs to be seen to be encouraged and where necessary to be enforced. (By special constables/ local authority workers/ army/ new posts)
  • Posted by Colin87 May 06, 2020 at 20:44

    I agree. This would be a good start but clearly important that safe working procedures are complied with
  • Posted by Staysafeforlonger May 06, 2020 at 21:02

    Businesses will need more support to consider other ways of working and alternative ways of delivering goods and services, diversifying etc. Business Gateway could facilitate this. Businesses will also need clear guidance to keep staff and customers safe.
  • Posted by TG May 06, 2020 at 21:34

    It is important that more businesses, particularly those which can allow the required social distancing, are allowed to open. Ultimately the responsibility for the health of employees lies with the business operator & as it is impossible to write detailed guidance for every situation there should be general guidance agreed with help of HSE. Allowing people to access garden centres & recycling centres I do not believe would greatly increase the risk of spread of disease & yet could have a very positive impact on people who have utilised their time in isolation to sort through/tidy houses & gardens.
  • Posted by catsareace May 06, 2020 at 22:53

    I’m nervous about going back to work in my office (where there is no option to work from home due to the nature of the business which is retail) and so am looking for reassurances that there will be enforceable strict cleaning measures as part of H&S regulations particularly as pre lockdown we would sometimes hot desk. Our desks are not currently set up to maintain social distancing so what are the options recommended to employers - reconfigure desks, install Perspex divider screens, amend staffs working patterns/hours so less in at one time??? I could wear a mask to work but unless it’s enforced that all should wear then it still carries risk. It would help if we had a hand drier rather than bringing our own towels every day. I think all employers should regularly check their staff throughout the day using a handheld thermometer and non employees not allowed on the premises eg postie would need to wait in a separate area and not enter the main office. Just need some reassurance about what can be expected from our employers to address these issues that has come from an official source.
  • Posted by clmg May 07, 2020 at 01:09

    Home building within the construction industry and relevant supply chains should be prioritised and supported to move quickly on properties already sold and in mid construction. They should be supported to implement safe operating procedures and consideration should be given to categorising it as an essential service going forward. There is a huge impact from the current restrictions on home buyers as people are often within a chain and will now potentially displaced for some time. Home builds are delayed for up to 3-5 months so far, some people will have already sold thier previous properties prior to the current restrictions being implemented or be in a position where they need to leave their current homes due to rental position. With their new home significantly delayed and timescales still uncertain this causes significant disruption for families . Many will not have budgeted for this extra expense and could have considerable impact if this remains ongoing. Some will require to stay with families increasing household sizes and may struggle to obtain a let property in between times, this can force families to potentially make numerous home moves at a time when this would not be recommended. Due to other financial impacts of the current situation this could have a lasting effect on families who may need to take on additional debts.
  • Posted by Littld May 07, 2020 at 06:24

    I think outdoor construction could be commenced earlier e.g. infrastructure projects and house building in order to stimulate the economy. Perhaps this could be based on site area - larger sites making social distancing more practical in many cases.
  • Posted by KDCEK May 07, 2020 at 07:17

    Businesses and other organisations cannot reopen properly unless parents have access to childcare. As a single parent and non-key worker who works full time from home it is becoming increasingly unsustainable to balance the demands of parenting, schooling, work and my own (non-existent) chance for a rest. If the children can return to their childminder, this would ease things dramatically on a personal level and would be in keeping with the small grouping options. My main issue with primary schools returning would be the crowding at drop of and pick up times, which could be manage by staggering start/finish times and points of entry/exit. On a wider level the need for childcare persists if any form of easing of restrictions is to be implemented. Practically, I would be happy to continue to socially distance and practice increased hygiene in public indefinitely to allow more businesses to open. We may need to get a bit more creative on how we run our businesses but businesses should be supported to try new ways of operation.
  • Posted by Rolca123 May 07, 2020 at 09:38

    There must be measures that can be put in place which would enable businesses to re-open. For example, appointment times at gyms; allowing no more than a certain number in at once - closing off treadmills or moving them to enable social distancing. Car showrooms could easily re-open as people can maintain social distancing in those circumstances. Outdoor markets could be re-opened quickly too as they're outside and no worse than the confines of a supermarket. Allowing caravan parks/private lets to re-open would give people a "holiday" and help the economy without huge risk as long as everyone stays with their household and or bubble. Perhaps it's too soon to allow hairdressers to re-open but, perhaps measures could be put in place to minimise risk in the not too distant future?
  • Posted by DebbieD May 07, 2020 at 09:52

    When considering how business which should re-open does factoring in have people's routine and habits changed for the long term during lockdown? More online shopping, home delivery, more home cooking, people are taking up new hobbies etc.. Have people got used to not using their car? What does future business look like? The Scottish Government have indicated that recovery will be an opportunity to do things differently. In rural areas local food producers and shops have been champions providing home delivery in the absence of a usual supermarket shop. As an example can this be sustainable into the future, ,support local economies and reduce food miles? More people working from home may help local/rural economies with people maybe choosing to use local shops rather than travelling into a town thereby reducing pollution and also bringing a change lifestyle which is perhaps more sustainable.I
  • Posted by AA1234 May 07, 2020 at 10:47

    Need to minimise use of public transport as more risk here than people using their own transport. Allow office spaces may be safe need to think about hoe corridors/access to toilets are managed to maintain social distancing. Need to look at Hairdressers returning to work surely there is a way some form of PPE could be used to make it safe. Areas where it is difficult o socially distance should be the last to reopen eg pubs, cinemas, . I would doubt if many people would want to go just now anyway given the risks.
  • Posted by snapier May 07, 2020 at 10:57

    Open up all retail as quickly as possible using the control measures put in place already by supermarkets. This would include small shops and garden centres. Start up construction as quickly as possible - there is no reason why Scotland should be different from England.
  • Posted by charles May 07, 2020 at 11:32

    As the lockdown measures start to be eased it would be both beneficial and safe to allow a degree of domestic tourism. This could start with self catering holiday lets, the majority of which have self check in and check out arrangements (this could be a condition, as no interaction required). This could also extend to b&bs where self distancing requirements are achievable. This would start to officially allow a controlled movement of people which would in turn benefit small retailers and visitor attractions such as castles, gardens etc where social distancing could easily be achieved. For small retail shops in both rural and areas of outstanding beauty it is essential to have visitors otherwise they’ll be no point opening even if they were allowed to. It is worth noting that the vast majority of small hospitality businesses such as holiday lets and b&bs have not been able to secure any government support during these difficult and extraordinary times. Small hospitality businesses are a vital and key part of the Scottish economy and allowing these to open would be of great benefit in the early stages of our economy road to recovery as well as protecting there existence for the future.
  • Posted by SC2020 May 07, 2020 at 11:57

    Requirements that need to be in place for businesses to re-open safely should be agreed and distributed so that they have time to start putting measures in place. For example in offices extra equipment can be ordered to allow desks etc to be spaced out adequately and office layouts can begin to be changed.
  • Posted by WilfredLawrieNicholasJohnson May 07, 2020 at 12:12

    Many keep drawing comparisons to the fact that English Construction sites are still operating and Scotland have been closed. But how confident are these people that the CLC Guidance is safe? On paper parts may seem reasonable. But just because people are working to them does not make them safe. There is a feeling that the workers in construction industry in England are essentially being treated as test subjects for this guidance, meanwhile it is dressed up as ‘best practice’. How can we be sure that the current CLC guidance is: a) Safe? b) being enforced by the company? c) being further enforced by authorities like HSE? The guidance is flawed and unclear with many unsafe recommendations, such as face to face working for up to 15 minutes to highlight the most obscene suggestion (a UK government recommendation). The Scottish Government should issue its own guidance for the construction industry in Scotland. First and foremost it should be safe and clear. Some suggestions to improve safety could be as follows: • Staff should travel alone and not share public transport or share vans in any circumstance • Limit number of people on site at any one time • Everyone should wear a mask • N95 masks and goggles for anyone who has to work within 2 metres Final point. Construction bosses only really care about the money or the programme. They never care about the hardworking boots on the ground, never have and never will. There needs to be enforcement and heavy fines issued to those who don’t want to comply or are not taking it seriously enough. The only thing that will force some of these people to comply is if there is a financial incentive.
  • Posted by pdm May 07, 2020 at 13:21

    It may be appropriate to consider the geographical location of a business: Areas which are more remote (Islands eg) and where there are many fewer cases, may be safer to begin opening businesses, while still maintaining the appropriate social distancing and other safety measures, and also introducing test/trace/isolate procedures.
  • Posted by triumphherald May 07, 2020 at 13:22

    I think it is time to re-open businesses with appropriate rules in place. Supermarkets are coping very well with the crisis and I don't see why other businesses cannot do likewise. The economy obviously cannot afford extending this widespread lockdown, especially as the benefit seems to be fairly small.
  • Posted by DRM May 07, 2020 at 13:23

    A controlled release from "lockdown" conditions, at the appropriate timing, will also facilitate the controlled start-up of selected businesses. Reports would suggest that individual business sectors are already well engaged in assessing their own requirements for a safe resumption of their business operations. Many of the bigger businesses will already have a good structure in place for assessing Health & Safety risks to their workforce, so a review of requirements to deal with the specifics of COVID-19 such as social distancing and appropriate PPE, should be straight forward for them. All such assessments should be fully documented and agreed by management and workers alike. The Health & Safety Executive should be required to take a lead in producing a simple process / format for each business sector to follow - to ensure consistency of application within each Sector and across Sectors. Protecting against COVID-19 is the same challenge for each of them, though the protective solutions may be slightly different in each case, depending on size and complexity. Each business would them have to demonstrate that they had undertaken a detailed review and had made appropriate changes to protect their workforce against COVID-19 transmission. Construction and Manufacturing businesses should already have the necessary Health & Safety processes to enable them to do this properly. Any key risks would be identified and discussed with workforce / Unions and H&SE. Overall process should probably include: - definition of process to be followed by each business sector - H&SE - detailed assessment within each business - Mgt., Workforce / Unions, H&SE - remote Induction Process for workforce - prior to returning to work site - "the rules" - ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of control processes - Mgt., Workforce, H&SE - learn and improve as we move forward - everybody Retail businesses will have less processes in place for dealing with Health & Safety matters and will therefore need more support and guidance to get this right - but the principles are much the same and a formal assessment of risk and mitigation will still be required. The social distancing challenges facing a small Cafe will be greater than those being faced by a large supermarket (already opened) or Department store. Control over Customer numbers will be required and the wearing of PPE for staff, and face coverings and even "gloves" for Customers will need to be consistently defined and managed across this Sector. It needs to be made clear to all concerned that it's not possible to get to "zero risk assessment" even if businesses are "opened up" in a controlled way. However, the consistent use of a defined process will help to ensure that risk is minimised for both workers and customers alike. The existence of a common process will also make it easier to stop and review / improve, if there is any evidence that COVID-19 transmission has occurred in the work place. We will need to be able to restart some of our businesses at some time in the next few weeks. The timing should be based on a consideration of Risk versus Benefit for both individual and economy, e.g. - a High Benefit business sector with Low Risk of virus transmission should be amongst the first to resume business operations - a Higher Risk business sector with relatively Low Benefit should remain shutdown until Risks can be sufficiently mitigated The above can be plotted on a simple matrix to make this more visible and more easily understood. In summary, the Risk of COVID-19 transmission cannot be eliminated but can be significantly reduced by the application and control of good health and safety process. Businesses need to own this process but the Health & Safety Executive need to provide the ongoing "Quality Control"!
  • Posted by eve3981 May 07, 2020 at 14:36

    The housing market needs to be allowed to resume. Ideally in a phased scenario. There are a large number of properties that had agreed sales prior to lockdown and are awaiting a relaxation of lockdown measures in order to complete. Home removals could be conducted (adhering to social distancing) . Solicitors should be able to complete the documentation(adhering to social distancing) . This will positively impact estate agents and Solicitors and would help kick start the economy bringing in taxes .The property market is a sector that requires to get moving.
  • Posted by ItsYourMove May 07, 2020 at 15:56

    Adding to the many comments on opening Solicitors and Estate Agents soon: Certain types of business occupy pivotal roles in the flow of social and financial activity. If they are not up and running, nothing downstream of them can properly come back to life. It is important to identify these enabling facilities and make sure that, especially where they have decided not to continue working remotely, they are cleared to re-start operations, helped to do so safely, and advised that in fact they have an obligation to get back in harness and clear their backlogs as quickly as possible to help the country get back on its feet. Legal and financial concerns are obvious contenders. Most large firms have managed to maintain limited services, but many smaller ones such as Solicitors’ offices have found themselves ill-equipped to do so and in the face of too many obstacles some have simply pulled down the shutters and stopped communicating. The sector is however probably well placed for an early restart, with some encouragement. In terms of Safety, the confidentiality of client information already imposes a certain discipline. Much can be done by phone and on-line, but for essential face-to-face conversations discrete consultation areas are common and regulated by scheduled appointments which could be fixed duration, with screens etc. added as appropriate. Office facilities are also often well segregated and could be further adapted for distancing if need be, and in many small businesses part-time staffing can further reduce contact. With careful thought, signing off of documents could be done safely, and short journeys specifically necessary for legal transactions made a reasonable cause to be out. In terms of Impact, the ravages of Covid-19 will for Solicitors unfortunately mean a huge backlog of winding up of estates and inheritance issues, even winding up of businesses, untanglement of debts etc. Property transactions too are virtually at a standstill, creating hugely stressful situations for those involved and probably also huge financial strain. Re-starting these would enable a flood of consequentials. Small firms and self-employed tradesmen depend a lot on house-movers for alteration and upgrade work. Removal firms say they could already work safely in controlled circumstances, but have nothing to do. There are many more similar examples. Registers of Scotland have already gone the extra mile to make an enhanced level of digital property business possible for the time being, and Authorities, Organisations and companies are working together to build a framework that will allow things to hang together until some degree of unlocking occurs. If this were to be sooner rather than later for Solicitors, the stimulus to public confidence and mental wellbeing would be huge, but so would the subsequent stimulus to the wider economy. Significant sums of money would suddenly be changing hands, with the Scottish Government of course due a sizeable portion. It’s hard to think of other areas of Lockdown easing with such immediate and potentially far-reaching benefits.
  • Posted by Brian1977 May 07, 2020 at 18:17

    I agree with the comment post by DRM on 7.05.20 at 13.23. My experience was in managing scientific and technical staff dealing with pathological material in this country and overseas. In common with comparable businesses, we took our responsibilities to look after the health and safety of our staff, customers and the wider public very seriously. The control measures are documented in Standard Operating Procedures and supported by specific risk assessments. Staff are trained and procedures audited. These audits are both internal and external by UKAS auditors. Initially some staff felt threatened by their work being audited but this quickly changed to a feeling of greater confidence and pride in their work. There is no way in which government can protect the safety of every individual going about their work, travel, social and commercial lives. Government can give advice and set out training and quality standards. In my opinion the large supermarket chains have shown what can be achieved relatively quickly when this advice is given and systems adapted. (Can the benefit of this effort and investment in time, training and materials be quantified in terms of reduced virus transmission?) The government needs to follow up their apparent success with supermarkets by giving other business sectors the means to demonstrate that they have re-structured their operations so as to prevent virus transmission and therefore can be allowed to resume business operations. Alongside this transfer of responsibility for safety to businesses from government, the government should also provide training to the public in the practices they need to adopt and why. The simple slogan approach was affective initially but for the long term we need to give everyone the opportunity to obtain knowledge and understanding to protect themselves and their communities. Many training organisations have considerable expertise in setting up on-line training modules. Modules could be developed at a basic level for the general public and at a higher level for sole traders (eg roofers, gardeners or repair men) and small businesses (eg hairdressers). Federations and business organisations should take responsibility for developing the content of modules specific for their trades (if they have not already done so). In the medium term (say by early June), satisfactory completion of specific modules by staff might be a requirement for businesses to operate. Initially it should be a recommendation.
  • Posted by NH May 07, 2020 at 20:07

    It's hard to see how people in offices can have good distance maintained. Would need clear instructions in kitchen areas to clean kettle handle, fridge door, taps etc after use. Can you still use air conditioning ? In offices you would need to implement a one way system on staircases (1 staircase for up, 1 for down) if possible. Avoids need for people to pass each other in close proximity. You could only allow 1j person in lift at a time. Presumably if fire alarm goes off people will exit in a herd and gather in tight group outside. Not so serious as it's outside but still don't want people too close so should have instructions on people to leave gaps, etc.
  • Posted by Any1 May 08, 2020 at 02:10

    I agree that the property market needs to be opened up. In my own circle of friends and family there are 3 stalled transactions which were due to complete within days of the lockdown coming into force. In one case the purchaser of the property was the existing tenant - that transaction could easily have concluded if the solicitor hadn't simply stopped working.
  • Posted by Ideas81 May 08, 2020 at 07:42

    Help small business to reopen (small shops/coffee bars/salons) which don’t have the same funds available as large businesses to adapt their premises by installing screens etc
  • Posted by markcou May 08, 2020 at 10:03

    There should be no difference from a supermarket to other retailers, provided measures of social distancing can be observed. There are many companies that took a decision to close to protect there staff rather than being forced to do this. Where working from home is possible is should be maintained, where social distancing can be used these business's should be allowed provided public transport is not required, staff who have to travel by public transport cannot be discriminated against.
  • Posted by SC2020 May 08, 2020 at 10:08

    Allow offices to reopen if they have adjusted layouts etc and can maintain social distancing. Space out desks and have plenty sanitising stations, one way systems in place. People should be allowed to return to offices if this can be maintained and if they are happy to return. While working from home can be done it’s becoming increasingly difficult and going to work if a lot of peoples happy place away from home.
  • Posted by Dwilliams21 May 08, 2020 at 11:43

    While I agree with your priorities and initial focus, I fear for the impact on the Tourism and Leisure sector, and particularly the rural locations which are so seasonal
  • Posted by BeataK May 08, 2020 at 13:40

    Self employed trade people ie painters gardeneners, plasterers, plumbers, electricians should be able to restart working to earn a living again. These people are usually working solely or in group of two, working often in empty properties, I am not sure why they are being prevented from working.
  • Posted by FM79 May 08, 2020 at 14:11

    Any business, employer or individual who can carry out work whilst adhering to the social distance guidelines should be allowed to restart now irrelevant of industry.
  • Posted by Eng48 May 08, 2020 at 15:21

    This is critical to helping kick start the economy - however as a retired Engineer I feel there are several criteria that need to be met before any business/industry no matter how big or small should have in place: 1) Documented Risk Assessment and Procedures to be put in place c/w a process for measuring compliance in order to ensure "rules" such as Social Distancing, use of PPE including Face Coverings etc are adhered to. 2) ALL Employees are required to disclose whether they have had COVID-19, Tested for COVID-19 and have had Antibody Testing (when a reliable test is available) to their employer. This helps employer to better manage staff and help control any potential spread. 3) ALL Employees to have temperature taken by Employer prior to entering the work premises on a daily basis and if returning from a need to exit and return on the same day. 4) Employers to provide Testing for COVID-19 and Antibody Testing opportunities at their site. 5) Mandatory wearing of Face coverings for all employees and where risk assessment above dictates gloves, PPE etc. 6) ALL work areas to have clear COVID-19 Rules posted, Clear Lines identifying 2m Social distancing both forward/backward and to side. THE ABOVE SHOULD ALSO BE SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED & IMPLEMENTED FOR AIRLINES/AIRPORTS/RAIL STATIONS/TRAINS, COACHES/COACH STATIONS - in particular Temperature Testing of passengers and use of some forms of PPE.
  • Posted by Sunny34 May 08, 2020 at 21:41

    The current rules are very unfair - non-essential businesses like takeaways, costa coffee, the range are allowed to open but other industries have a blanket ban. Construction and other work outside should be allowed to resume, with requirements for distancing to be maintained, or for those who need to work closely together e.g. kitchen fitters should be allowed to work more closely with one or two other people, but the people they work with shouldnt change. These industries should open before others.
  • Posted by CMcD May 08, 2020 at 23:03

    Businesses should be allowed to open as soon as possible - they should have plans for social distancing and protection of employees. Time to trust people and businesses to get on with living with COVID -19. We don’t need more regulations and rules. Garden centers to open immediately, construction and jobs where you work outside to resume ASAP. All small businesses including cafes and hairdressers. Get the economy moving again please or no one will have jobs to go.
  • Posted by FM79 May 09, 2020 at 09:24

    Allow all businesses to reopen in all industries. If they can adhere to safe social distancing guidelines then they should be allowed to open now. Get people back to work and start the economic recovery before its too late and there is nothing left to save.
  • Posted by XR May 09, 2020 at 12:02

    The Scottish government should look for advice and guidance from the Swedish government.
  • Posted by JLMBD May 09, 2020 at 13:08

    If a small business is likely to go under unless it can go back to work then it should be considered if social distancing can be used appropriately. Would it be possible to create a "work bubble" system for some? I have two family members in a three person business who work in specialist scientific product development. They live separately. If they could do some work from home and have a work bubble in the office and lab it would keep the business afloat.
  • Posted by alisond May 09, 2020 at 14:59

    For offices and other workplaces where some work can be done from home, some cannot, I think that an excessively centralised response, or one purely based on negotiations with unions should be tempered with a bit of sensible team management. Looking at this site in general, I'm really struck by varied responses of individuals, which is also my experience amongst those I know. Some people will be really anxious about risks of going into work. Others bouncing off the walls at home, not convinced about need for lockdown and happy to return to a workplace. I think it would make sense to encourage employers to see what team based solutions, including reasonable readjustment of responsibility, can achieve. People know their own health risks and those of household. Could also ameliorate the mental health risks both for those facing having to attend work when afraid to do so, and for those struggling with working from home (which is really hard and not suitable for some people). All on basis that people should not suffer career wise for expressing a particular preference. Wouldn't solve all situations but might help. Obviously no use in sectors where everyone really needs to attend work premises.
  • Posted by JVL May 09, 2020 at 15:53

    Construction should re-start immediately, particularly house building. It’s a heavily regulated industry anyway so clear guidance can be given on how they should work safely. It would kickstart the economy whilst allowing a huge number of people to get back to work (and thus ease off the use of the job retention scheme). It would also allow hundreds of families to move out of temporary accommodation and in to their new homes reducing stress and financial burden.
  • Posted by AlJones May 09, 2020 at 22:10

    There are geographical locations where it is rare for more than 20 people to gather. Small, island populations. They should be allowed to reopen in full (schools, pubs etc.). They would still need support due to the restrictions placed on a significant portion of their economy (tourism restrictions), but an internal opening would allow people to better look after their physical and mental well-being.
  • Posted by Stephaniekeachie May 09, 2020 at 22:15

    I work for a solicitors estate agents; most of these firms probably earn most of their money from property sales which ultimately pay wages. Many local solicitors estate agents in our rural area have hd to furlough all staff. We have very few new covid cases in our region and I would be happy to go back to work. If solicitor estate agents and surveyors who carry out home reports need to be able to open up sooner rather than later otherwise many firms will close which in rural areas where there are few jobs is going to cause huge issues
  • Posted by HelenMM May 09, 2020 at 22:42

    Disappointed that hospitality was not one of the businesses that was mentioned in the brief of this question. As remote working is impossible! As one of the major employment sectors in the UK and Scotland hospitality and tourism have already suffered greatly and will plummet even more without further help from the Government to get them up and running again. Considering the amount of people employed in the sector I cannot imagine the Government wanting all of these people to go on benefits as the businesses fail due to no fault of theirs. Social distancing is a great idea but if you have a cafe with only 5 tables, how are you meant to take 2 -3 of them out in order to facilitate distancing? There is no way that the business can then pay wages, utilities, mortgage etc. We need the Government to come up with actual support for any and all of the advice you will be giving. If your advice will be ppe, make it affordable and readily available - and allow us to purchase it through a government scheme of some sorts. If your advice is social distancing, take into account the falling number of takings and make up the difference. If you want us to install screens between tables etc, provide them or offer contractors whom we can afford without going bankrupt or having to take out another loan. It is great to say restaurants can still do take away but if there are no people as they have all been told to keep away and stay at home, the effort of trying to provide take away services costs more than the sales bring in. If Covid-19 is not that likely to spread outdoors why cannot we open the outdoor seating areas as soon as possible? Spring-summer is when hospitality business usually is able to put some funds aside to get them through the autumn-winter months when the footfall is reduced, now due to Covid-19 that is not happening and jobs are at risk and businesses on the brink of collapse. Mostly, think about the advice you are giving. Lets say that we reduce our tables, all staff are wearing appropriate ppe, hand sanitizers and hand washing facilities are readily available. All ready to go. And then the Health Minister or whomever will state on tv that we all should still avoid restaurants, cafes etc. And people, who have already been battered and frightened into submission of ever lasting lockdown, will stay away. I admire the Governments resolve not to treat the population as educated individuals that we are. How is it that difficult to say 'do what is right for you but do it safely'?
  • Posted by Scotland_is_flatlining May 10, 2020 at 11:18

    Scottish Government said it in its opening comments: "Businesses will need to change the way they work, requiring them to operate under strict safe working guidance." Government can't legislate for this. Higher risk inter-personal engagement by businesses requires appropriate mitigation but it is unrealistic and inappropriate to make maintain a default closure regime. That is the wrong mind-set and Scottish Governement should seek to be supportive in its guidance and trust businesses and their customers and staff to adapt. The economy needs to re-start and if that means hazmat suits being worn in some environments, the government should encourage this rather than exclude the possibility and declare these businesses closed.
  • Posted by Scotswede May 10, 2020 at 12:42

    Gradual reopening of a broad base of stores and non-essential shops can be achieved with appointment / booking systems . This removes car queuing at big stores, queuing at doors (and the need to have staff on the door), allows test trading under social distancing guidelines, protects staff. Click and collect is easy to put in place and a manageable way to start trading.
  • Posted by Moj14 May 10, 2020 at 13:32

    Please re open Dentists as soon as physically possible. I have had a significant dental issue for weeks and not having dental care available is awful and debilitating for many I am sure.
  • Posted by ejforrester May 10, 2020 at 20:14

    Construction work should be able to proceed. This is essential to the economy and could easily be organised. I know some small builders were expecting to be back on site tomorrow, 11th and have all PPE and signage in place. They are confident in their ability to work according to distancing recommendations and should be treated like the professionals they are.
  • Posted by jamesf May 10, 2020 at 20:56

    The ban on construction has been a source of immense frustration for me and my family. We are living in temporary accommodation waiting for the final interior finishes to a new-build flat at a small construction site in Glasgow. The builders have told us they are ready to go ahead and had been hoping to be able to restart on Monday 11th, until the announcement of lock down renewal late this last week.
  • Posted by wesdec13 May 10, 2020 at 23:44

    All businesses where social distancing can be practiced should be allowed to re-open now. Access to facilities to practice good hygiene in Scotland in the 21st century should be a given in all workplaces. Suitable PPE should be provided where required and penalties imposed on those refusing to wear it. The working population of Scotland should not be treated like slow-witted children but allowed to be the sensible, thoughtful, practical people that they are and demonstrate that they can work safely and effectively.
  • Posted by Prospect May 11, 2020 at 09:20

    Prospect recognises that we must prepare for some reduction of lockdown and a phased restart of the economy. It is essential that lives are not put at risk by relaxing measures too early, and when action is taken, it must be measured and proportionate and place the protection of life ahead of economic interests. Maximising wellbeing and supporting positive mental health outcomes should also be prioritised. Easing lockdown cannot mean easing restrictions around work while stringent controls are maintained in everyday life. Workers should feel the benefit of looser controls across all elements of their lives. Fundamentally, health and safety and wider public health requirements cannot be weighed against the economic needs of businesses. It continues to be a fundamental principle that if work cannot be undertaken safely, it should not be undertaken at all. Maintaining a high level of homeworking is fundamental for ensuring the success of the wider public health strategy. Every employer, regardless of sector, should seek to maintain the highest possible level of safe homeworking. The Scottish Government must use data and scientific evidence in a transparent way, issuing clear guidance about when it is possible to return to work. The Government must also take steps to ensure that the Test, Trace, Isolate policy can be effectively applied- which can only happen when the number of cases has dropped. It must also carefully plan for having greater numbers of people at work and traveling to work. Clear guidance for public transport operators on maintaining physical distancing will be essential and this guidance should provide a framework for employers to plan for their specific transport needs. The Scottish Government should also work with the STUCC to prepare a refreshed joint Fair Work statement for the restart phase. Employers must only seek to restart their workplaces when they have been advised by the Scottish Government that new cases of the virus are sufficiently under control and safe working practices are agreed, ensuring physical distancing can be maintained in all shared space. Employers must also have in place a clear plan of how workers will travel to and from work safely. The restart phase does not represent a return to business as usual. What constitutes safe working practice has changed. There are also workers who cannot return to work for health reasons, due to caring responsibilities or because their workplace remains closed. Continued income protection is vital, and employers should implement the principles within the Fair Work statement and maintain workers’ incomes throughout this crisis. The UK Government must ensure that the job retention scheme and support for the self-employed are maintained and developed in the next phase of the crisis. Rights around sick-pay and self-isolation also need to be maintained. Preparations must be undertaken now before any restart of the economy takes place. This means that we must have; 1. Capacity for greater testing and a return to contact tracing Testing has a key role to play in ensuring that the economy can safely function going forward. We cannot begin the restart phase until effective processes for testing and contract tracing are established. This must include: • greater emphasis on routine testing for key workers; • a return to community testing; • a return to contact tracing; • genuine access to testing. Prospect believes that to implement these principles effectively greater capacity is needed in both testing and contact tracing. The Scottish Government has now announced an additional 2000 workers will be needed for contact tracing, indicating that these workers will come from other NHS services and local authority environmental health teams. Prospect is concerned that this creates a pinch point around local authority environmental health teams who are now responsible for enforcement of social distancing within workplaces and contact tracing. Prospect recognises that these are skilled jobs and therefore it is difficult to augment the workforce quickly. But it is essential that workforce issues are resolved and that both contact tracing and enforcement are prioritised. At present testing is not fit for purpose with key workers struggling to access tests, no community testing carried out and testing centres often difficult or impossible to get to for many workers. While work has been done to increase capacity and the roll out of home testing is now being planned, genuine access to testing must be assured – including routine tests for key workers – before we enter the next phase. 2. Capacity to supply PPE to non-essential workplaces There have been clear issues with supply and distribution of PPE for key workers. Yet more PPE will be needed as non-essential workplaces begin to return to operation. There must be: • Sufficient supply of PPE to supply non-essential workplaces in addition to key workers. • No disruption of supply chains supporting PPE for key workers. • Assessment of PPE needs undertaken on a sectoral basis prior to reopening workplaces. There must be certainty that sufficient PPE is available for all workers before the restart phase can begin. 3. Sectoral Guidance needs to be agreed between unions and employers Physical distancing will play a role in workplaces for the foreseeable future. This represents a large change to working practice for the majority of workers. It is absolutely essential that health and safety requirements are prioritised. This will protect workers, but it will also protect the employer’s business and the wider economy by guarding against the need for workplaces to close due to infections. It is vital that unions and employers, supported by the Scottish Government work together to prepare guidance sector by sector which takes a clear health and safety approach. This guidance must be in place prior to any restart of the economy and should clearly set out Fair Work and safe working practices within each sector. This guidance must include: • A clear commitment that work will not begin until the ‘R’ number has fallen, in line with scientific advice. • A commitment to Fair Work including a commitment to protect workers’ incomes when they are shielding, have caring responsibilities or are self-isolating in line with public health advice. • A requirement to agree COVID 19 risk assessments with union health and safety reps. before the workplace reopens, with time built-in to allow this process to take place. • Support from the Scottish Government and employers for roving health and safety reps. to support employers across their sector. Health and safety reps. should be able to inspect all companies within their employer’s supply chain and should have right of access to any workplace in their sector in response to concerns raised by a worker in that workplace. • Clear commitments to health and safety and physical distancing recognising that where physical distancing cannot be implemented PPE will be required. Clear protocols preventing the use of shared tools, hotdesks and other facilities must also be in place prior to the workplace reopening. • Guidance for employers and unions to consider how shift patterns and rest breaks are organised and any variations that are required to support physical distancing. Employers should also be required to set out how shared space can be used safely, including breakrooms, canteens, toilets, changing areas and smoking areas, ensuring physical distancing is maintained. • A requirement for high levels of cleanliness within workplaces, including access to hand washing stations or hand sanitiser, and the need for cleaning between shifts and enhanced cleaning of shared areas and frequent touch points. • A requirement for employers to plan how workers get to and from work within a wider Government led transport strategy. • A clear reference to enforcement and the wider national enforcement strategy. • The employers’ duties to support the Test, Trace, Isolate strategy, including support for workers to isolate with no loss of income, and their duties around data collection for public health reasons. • A recognition that this is an iterative process with a requirement for guidance to be reviewed and updated. Unions should be fully involved and consulted at all stages in this process. Guidance should also include a duty for employers to support homeworkers particularly as they will be required to continue to work from home for a considerable period. Employers should consider issues of both physical and mental wellbeing, including respect for rest breaks, support for caring duties and a clear demarcation of work and non-work time. It is vital that employers recognise their duties in respect of homeworkers and the increased support that can be provided to them as the lockdown is eased. 4. Effective enforcement measures must be in place. Effective enforcement of physical distancing rules is absolutely essential. Local authorities through environmental health officers and the Health and Safety Executive are best placed to lead enforcement activity. However, the capacity for inspection has been undermined by ten years of austerity. It is therefore essential to maximise the effectiveness and the capacity of these vital institutions. There must be: • The creation of a national enforcement forum to provide oversight of health and safety and rapid response to issues across the economy. This forum should include the Scottish Government, local authorities, environmental health officers, the HSE, the police and trade unions. • There should be greater support for the role of union health and safety reps. in the workplace. Steps should also be taken to empower union health and safety reps to support inspection work through the roving health and safety rep. model. • The Scottish Government should set up a whistle blowing helpline to ensure that every worker in every sector can raise instances of bad practice and know that this will reach the appropriate enforcement agency and be acted upon. • Action must be taken now to enhance the capacity and number of environmental health officers to support a higher level of inspections. This includes: o bringing back retired officers as was done during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. o providing funding for local authorities to enhance local environmental health teams whose numbers have been falling year on year due to the impact of austerity and cuts to local government budgets. o making funding available for a greater number of training places and considering ways to streamline the pathway without reducing the quality of training provided. 5. A continuation of the job retention scheme and other support for those who cannot work. Coming out of lockdown is likely to be phased. There will be some sectors which must stay closed, while others may open. It is also possible that restrictions may be eased but then reintroduced due to a resurgence of the virus, or that some workplaces may face difficult periods due to falling demand or other knock on impacts in their supply chain. In this context ongoing support for workers firstly by their employer and secondly by both the UK and Scottish Government is essential. It is essential to: • maintain the incomes of all those who cannot work throughout this crisis, including those who are shielding, those with caring responsibilities, workers whose workplaces are closed and the self-employed. Employers should be encouraged to implement Fair Work principles. • create more flexible Government support packages for workers which can underpin short hour working or transitions between work and furlough while maintaining income levels. Conclusion Each of these areas are essential and work needs to be undertaken now to deal with the issues raised and ensure that the economy can, at the right time, move to the restart phase. Fundamentally workers, both working at home and in the workplace, need to be protected and supported to work in safe environments and the incomes of those who cannot work should continue to be protected.
  • Posted by Cathol May 11, 2020 at 12:52

    The initial evidence suggested lockdown was necessary but the UK was too late, the virus had spread, studies suggest the no of asymptotic cases are higher than thought. Why are we not reacting to new evidence, its apparent that the virus is not as deadly to the general, healthy, working age population. From the stats is quite clear the most at risk groups, we should be focusing on protecting the most vulnerable and encouraging those least at risk to start getting back to normality in a sensible manner. Many of the populations mental and physical health is deteriorating. Business’s, especially those is the leisure sector, are receiving no assistance and no indication of when they will be allowed to get back to work. Small business’s are being persecuted and many will be forced into liquidation.
  • Posted by truescot May 11, 2020 at 12:53

    How are you supposed to rate an idea such as this and all the other centrally generated ones, when they are NOT IDEAS, but topics for discussion?
  • Posted by Stargazer1960 May 11, 2020 at 14:45

    I would like to see a focus on small, local, independent businesses being able to open. Supporting local trade is vital to the community and will reduce a lot of uncertainty for many self-employed people. Each business could do a risk assessment and risk management plan before being allowed to reopen. This would encourage clear thought to be given to safeguarding staff and customers.
  • Posted by RuthBradley May 11, 2020 at 14:55

    Is very important to provide timely guidance on integrated infection control systems to different sectors I run an tourist hostel on the west coast in the Highlands. Im a research scientist. I feel like it has been left to us all to gather best available evidence around safe practices. Though WHO guidelines are emerging. It is easier and better to keep a sector closed fully rather than half open. My business is tethering on the brink of collapse as it is and will struggle to survive the winter having lost the main o the 2020 season. A halfway house of opening conditionally but having those conditions unclear and not easy to implement will not instil confidence in guests or staff. We need clarity on things like Can we use the same non-waterproof pillows between guests with only linen being changed? How long is the layover needed between guests for a room? Can we keep accepting bookings from international guests for July/August or can ScotGov make a definitive ruling now that no non-essential international travel can happen in 2020. This ruling would safeguard providers booking through OTAs like Booking.com from incurring original cancellation penalties (need to pay fo nearest appropriate alternate accomodation acceptable to guest not just refund guest). I know my remote village is not emotionally ready for me to open my 23 bed hostel catering to the NC500 overnight trade. Clear decisions needed Can be more nuanced - no to international visitors/ yes to domestic to facilitate track and trace
  • Posted by Bethany18 May 11, 2020 at 16:39

    The range of stores opening could be widened beyond bare essentials- not all businesses need to return immediately but certain industries and local businesses should be reopened for the health of our country and economy
  • Posted by Scotswede May 11, 2020 at 17:15

    No 'opening' of non-essential shops. Only appointment or booking only/click and collect pick up. This is necessary to allow test trading, limit crowds, limit cars in the road and queues at doors, protects public and importantly, protects staff. A wide range of shops and businesses could open safely under these guidelines/rules, not just garden centres. Also - garden centres are not an 'easy' answer - lots of problems with opening them (likely queues, small shop areas, will be used as a day trip out rather than an extension of essential shopping). They are also not the same as a supermarket or B&Q - typically much smaller, cash registers are in small store areas, fewer staff members to manage crowds/social distancing, often rural locations so potential for dangerous queuing on roads. Garden centres should only be permitted to click and collect.most are doing this successfully already .
  • Posted by Cathol May 11, 2020 at 19:49

    Outdoor business’s and those with limited and identifiable customers should be allowed to open soon.
  • Posted by Hep2020 May 11, 2020 at 20:06

    Those businesses which had to close can obtain best practice from those essential businesses which have remained open during the lockdown e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies, small local businesses (e.g butcher, corner shops, green grocer). Customers feel more at ease when they see clear messaging regarding the number of people permitted in the shop, clearly marked social distancing spacing and messages on the floor, sanitising trolleys/baskets, providing hand sanitiser on entry and exit, use of face coverings for staff and customers. Perhaps retail stores could introduce an appointment service whereby customers can book a slot to visit a store to help to restrict the number of customers at any one time.
  • Posted by CHill May 11, 2020 at 20:39

    There are many small businesses with small workforces of maybe 10 or so who have absolutely no Management Structure and despite their obligations in terms of Health & Safety, have never done a Risk Assessment in their lives. Too many vulnerable employees will be expected to "muddle through" with no proper guidance or route to raise issues. Something needs to be in place that employees can look to - not everyone has a Trade Union. I am aware of a workplace where in the run up to Lockdown, despite the obvious dangers of Coronavirus, the Managers completely ignored the matter, did nothing for their staff and didn't mention the Virus at all. They will open in the same vein and will duck the issue if allowed to. These firms exist out there and their complacency is something the staff are all too familiar with.
  • Posted by Nmma May 11, 2020 at 20:54

    If you can send my husband back to work in construction then please let me take my children a short drive to all the beaches/river walks etc that are pretty local to us, whilst being in only our household and maintaining social distancing. Mental health will spiral if partners are sent back to work and the other half are left completely isolated at home.
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