Good morning,

At the start of a new week which we hope will see another easing of lockdown measures, we enclose some detailed guidance in collaboration with our contacts within the local authority below, to assist you in the preparedness for trading safely, when the time comes:
Easing of lockdown:

Business Information

Phase 2: Reopening of non-essential retail shops, and outdoor seating areas for restaurants, cafes and licensed premises
This guidance outlines some key issues for business to consider as you plan to reopen in accordance with the Scottish Governments decisions and their paper “Scottish Governments route map through and out of crisis”. The guidance should be read in conjunction with business and general advice on COVID-19 on the Scottish Governments website, and is intended to provide a local perspective. It does not replace it.

It important that we all prepare for the time when businesses can open, and the Council are no different. This will be very difficult and with public health physical distancing measures will significantly impact on how businesses can operate, with reduced capacity and new operating procedures. Businesses should make plans based on the industry guides and at present they exist for various sectors (retail guide is published and hospitality is pending.)

In phase 2, the Council perceives that there may be issues with businesses wishing to reopen around the management of queues for customers who may need to wait outside the business premises and also those wishing to use existing outside seating areas, particularly those which are on pavement areas. There is a potential that with physical distancing this will restrict the use of pavements and this matter requires careful consideration. A working group has been established to consider these issues, involving Council and Transport Scotland so we are able to respond to business enquiries and specific issues. This group will be extended as necessary to include business representative.

Further information to follow, and meantime, we advise businesses to:

How do I plan to reopen?

  • Take your time to PLAN to reopen having regard to sectoral guides. The responsibility is on business owners to have appropriate measure in place to ensure safe physical distancing measures are in place for employees, customers and those who may be affected by your business.
  • Use the assessment forms in the industry guidance and the retail one is accessed via this link.
  • Discuss your proposals with your employees to ensure that they are protected and  your plans are workable
  • We would encourage businesses to engage as early as possible with other businesses in their area as well as Argyll and Bute Council to mitigate risks to customers and pedestrians using our premises and streets via

How do I plan for queues outside my premises?

  • Businesses will need to think outside the normal trading environment to implement innovative measures such as numbering systems, changed opening hours to manage queues, click and collect through appointment time or other measures. Businesses must take all reasonable measures to ensure that there is physical distancing within queuing systems, including use of tape to mark distances etc.
  • You are encouraged to liaise with nearby and adjoining premises to manage shared queueing areas on your ground or on pavements to ensure that social distancing measures are in place, yet ensuring that the pavement is available for  other members of the public If this will be a problem you need to raise with the Council (Who)
  • You are encouraged to remove any “A board” advertising or other items you may have (e.g. benches, flower post etc.) which are located on pavements/footways, which may hinder queues or passing pedestrians in the short-term

I want to use my outdoor seating area for customers?


Next Steps

  • Prior planning is important for businesses and if you have any issues in respect to the above, seek advice from the council via (operating issues) or for pavement/footways and road related issues including queueing issues on pavements
  • Keep a watch on sectoral guidance issued by Scottish Government
  • We will progress discussions and engage with local business groups to ensure that the guidance meets business needs