Businesses told to consider returning to queue management and table service

·2-min read
New rules for hospitality are being introduced (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Archive)
New rules for hospitality are being introduced (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Archive)

Businesses are being told to consider new measures to manage customer queues and return to a table service system in order to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant.

The Scottish Government has published new guidance for businesses, requiring them to take “reasonable measures” to minimise transmission of coronavirus.

It says masks should be worn inside all businesses, while retail and hospitality should consider measures to reduce crowding.

The guidance suggests one-way systems in premises, app-based ordering and the use of screens at service points.

It also suggests a return to table service where practical, as well as a ticketing system during peak festive opening hours.

Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “The Omicron variant is spreading at a rapid pace and we have had to work extremely quickly to get revised guidance in place for businesses, to take effect from 00.01 Friday 17 December.

“It is crucial that everyone follows this guidance to support businesses to keep their premises safe and prevent transmission of Omicron, especially as we ramp up booster vaccinations.

“Please get your booster, test regularly, follow the guidance, wear a mask and distance from people when you’re out and about.

“All of these layers of protection will help to limit the spread of Omicron, especially as we approach the festive period.”

She continued: “I am also making a plea to be considerate to staff who are doing their best during this challenging period.

“In addition to guidance, we know that businesses need financial support now.

“We are working to get funding out to businesses as soon as we can but the Treasury must also step up and provide urgent funding beyond what we are able to provide.”

Earlier on Thursday, Deputy First Minister told a Holyrood committee the guidance would be published on Friday, when it is due to come into effect.

However, he later said he was mistaken and confirmed it would be published on Thursday.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross raised this at First Minister’s Questions, saying mixed messages were causing confusion for businesses.

Nicola Sturgeon said the Government had been in touch with businesses throughout the week and many of the measures were used earlier in the pandemic.

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