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Covid control measures - retail & food outlets in Aberdeenshire towns

As a ‘business association’, Aberdeenshire Councils Environmental Health Service are writing to you to ask for your businesses support and cooperation to ensure that businesses within Aberdeenshire towns are promoting and following the Scottish Governments advice in regard to Covid-19 to help reduce the risk of the transmission of Covid-19 within retail and hospitality settings.

Since secondary schools have returned, there is an increasing concern over the lack of physical distancing and congregation of school children outside of retail and food outlets within Aberdeenshire town centres.

As a business operating during the pandemic, they have a responsibility to put control measures in place to facilitate physical distancing both inside and outside of their premise. In addition, members of the public have a responsibility to ensure that they follow government guidelines in terms of gatherings – currently a maximum of 6 people from 2 households , use face coverings when entering such retail outlets required  (unless they are exempt under the Scottish Government guidance) and comply with the physical distancing requirement.

In order to encourage school children to follow the guidance, a multi-organisational approach is required, which includes cooperation from with local businesses, in particular those which are frequented by the pupils during breaks and lunch time. Control measures such as queue management, which would include the use of 2m spacing markers, clear signage and marshalling should be considered by a business where deemed appropriate. Although businesses cannot enforce the requirement to wear a face covering, they can educate and promote the use of face coverings to customers.

In addition businesses should be discouraging the congregation of pupils out with their establishment when eating and utilising ‘spaces for people’ which allows streets and pavements to safely permit the 2m physical distancing if used appropriately.

I would be grateful if you could remind your member businesses of their obligation to manage queues both out with their premises and ensure suitable control measures are in place to facilitate physical distancing.

Catherine Busson

Senior Environmental Health Officer

Aberdeenshire Council

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