Guidance for businesses
East Lothian Council is here to support you as we move through the various phases of recovery and look to return to the new normal. We have collated useful information for businesses on this page and this will be updated in line with Scottish Government guidance.
Our Economic Development team and Business Gateway Advisers continue to provide as much support as possible and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Business rates relief
Our Environmental Health team has advice for businesses on how to comply with physical distancing regulations amongst staff and customers.
Businesses must take all reasonable measures to ensure:
- a distance of 2m is maintained between any persons on the premises
- customers are admitted in sufficiently small numbers to enable 2m distance
- a distance 2m is maintained between any person queuing to enter the premises
You MUST have controls to:
- ensure 2m distancing between all persons (staff and customers) within your premises
- ensure a suitable maximum number of persons are permitted in your premises (to facilitate 2m distancing)
- ensure 2m distancing between persons waiting outside to enter premises
You are ADVISED to also have:
- signage stating maximum number of customers permitted in the premises at any one time
- signage reminding customers to maintain 2m physical distancing
- till screens
- hand sanitiser, face coverings, gloves for staff (as required)
- card payment prioritisation
- a one way system around the premises
- designated entrance and exit only doors (where there are 2 or more doors to the premises)
You must complete a suitable and detailed risk assessment of covid-19 for your business. This risk assessment should detail the business controls you put in place to protect both employees and the public. You can download a blank risk assessment template from this webpage. Customers and staff will need to be confident in your covid-19 control measures.
If you are planning to reopen your business you should complete the relevant checklist - which covers key points to consider including physical distancing.
View our posters about social distancing, hand washing and face masks.
Test and Protect
The Scottish Government has produced supporting guidance on collection of Customer & Visitor Details for businesses and other establishments, where the nature of the premises means there may be an increased risk of transmission of COVID-19 due to higher degree of interaction between unknown individuals. To help you reopen your business with confidence, businesses can sign up free to VisitSafe, an online tool to record all your customer visits.
Contact Environmental Health and Trading Standards for advice at: email@example.com
Download Coronavirus Bulletins from the Business Companion website - they have specific guidance for travel and tour operators, food businesses and the housing and home improvement sector to help businesses get back up and running and workplaces operating as safely as possible. Select the Scotland option. The guides are from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.
Should further advice be required regarding your business within East Lothian, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Coronavirus has led to a rapid increase in scams aimed at consumers and at at business. Businesses should stay vigilant - especially when incorporating new ways of working like working from home:
- The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) provides a benchmark for cyber security training, with courses rigorously quality tested against exacting standards
- The Cyber Griffin Unit at the City of London Police have created videos specifically looking at some of the cyber security risks associated with working from home: watch on YouTube
- Get advice about how businesses can use video conferencing safely and securely
- report scam emails to email@example.com - the NCSC automated programme will immediately test the validity of the site. Any sites found to be phishing scams will be removed immediately
- for further advice contact East Lothian Council Trading Standards: 01620 827 827 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Town centre space
The Space Team are responsible for Town Centre space outside your premises - pavements, access, parking, etc.
As shops and businesses re-open, social distancing guidelines mean extra space is needed on our high streets to accommodate walking and waiting.
Businesses are encouraged to operate appointment systems to minimise the number of people congregating at their premises.
Where this is not viable, and you anticipate queues, you must discuss arrangements with East Lothian Council.
We need to work together to ensure everyone is accommodated as far as possible. This includes people living and working in town centres who need access to their properties, and people waiting for buses and taxis, as well as customers of shops.
East Lothian Council may be able to:
- cordon off parking spaces to provide room for queuing
- create space in the carriageway for people passing on foot or on bikes
- provide approved signage for use in shop windows
Email email@example.com with any queries or requests to alter public space.
Businesses requiring space for tables and chairs should apply by completing this application form and submit by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be reviewed on a case by case basis depending on the location, its restrictions and the demand in the area.
If you are one of our business customers - let us know when you are reopening and contact us for a new Waste Transfer Note and invoice: email@example.com
Download: guidance for current licence holders and anyone planning to apply for a new licence. This explains the changes we are making to our licensing services to help minimise the disruption caused to licence holders by coronavirus.