Guidance for retail, tourism and hospitality customers

Guidance for customers on how the retail experience in shops, tourism and hospitality businesses is changing due to coronavirus.


Your experience in shops is changing due to coronavirus. Retailers, following government guidance are working to ensure the safety of customers and colleagues. To ensure we keep transmission of coronavirus low, customers are asked to behave responsibly.

To stay safe, to protect others and to save lives customers should:

  • remember the FACTS:

Face coverings in enclosed spaces

Avoid crowded places

Clean your hands and surfaces regularly

Two-metre social distancing

Self-isolate and book a test if you develop coronavirus symptoms

  • Shop local – do not travel further than necessary when visiting stores.
  • Be patient –  shopping may take longer than you may be used to and you may need to queue for longer as a result. Please do not smoke when queuing outside shops.
  • Wear a face covering – when you go in to stores you should wear a face covering unless there is a medical reason not to. Younger children may also be exempt.
  • Shop in as small a group as possible. Shop on your own, or if you are with children,  have caring responsibilities or disabilities, which can be un-seen, shop in as small a group as possible.
  • Get help: If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and are self-isolating, or are vulnerable or shielding and you need essential items like food or medicine you should request assistance from friends, family, community support groups, make an online order, or call the National Helpline on 0800 111 4000.
  • Avoid crowded shops. Do not shop at times when shops will be busy. If you do not think you can distance within a shop, try to come back another time.
  • Protect yourself and others. Visit stores that are using infection control measures and use available hand sanitiser or take your own, and do not touch goods. We have published guidance for retailers which will provide you with an understanding of retailers’ responsibilities.
  • Be polite. Please ensure that you are considerate to retail staff and abide by their guidance and instructions including removing your face covering if requested for proof of age.
  • Behave: abusive behaviour will not to be tolerated and at its worst it could constitute criminality.

Retailers, employees and customers each have a part to play in making responsible choices to allow us to make progress in reopening the retail sector safely.

Tourism & Hospitality

Your experience using commercial services is changing due to coronavirus. Businesses within the tourism and hospitality sector, following government guidance, are working to ensure the safety of customers and colleagues. This good work is supported with relevant guidelines from trade bodies and wider industry, but the successful return to business will be highly dependent on positive customer behaviours. The guidance below is intended to be used by customers and can also help to inform the signage used in tourism and hospitality businesses.

Customers should:

  • keep up to date with and follow Scottish Government advice on when it is safe to travel and visit services provided by the tourism and hospitality sector – they may not all be open at the same time or in the same phase of the Route Map.
  • keep up to date with travel advice from Transport Scotland – including on face coverings
  • refrain from travel or visiting tourism and hospitality services if you have symptoms of illness or if you are in the shielding group, or others in your household are unwell or symptomatic – please check with NHS Inform if you are unsure or need further advice.
  • pay attention to and follow all instructions and advice that is provided by businesses and their staff – this is for your safety and that of other customers and staff
  • check with businesses in advance on any requirements for booking systems they have put in place to manage limitations on capacity to comply with physical distancing requirements – this will avoid both a wasted trip if you are unable to be admitted and pressure on transport systems
  • stay in your own household group, observing physical distancing guidelines at all times, and do not let children wander off and mix with others
  • keep your hands clean – use the hand hygiene products that are provided for your use, or use your own, before or after you touch any common areas – businesses will also be doing this but regular hand hygiene is good practice and reduces the risk of transmission
  • catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue and dispose of any tissues into a bin and wash hands immediately
  • if an individual does not have tissues to hand, they should catch coughs and sneezes in the crook of their elbow
  • exercise caution if crowds are gathering at any bottleneck points – this should not happen as businesses will have plans in place to manage this risk, but always be mindful to avoid crowds as this presents a higher risk of transmission
  • go prepared – you may wish to prepare and take your own food and drink on trips as it may not be possible to purchase these items on site – if in doubt check with businesses in advance on what services are open
  • please ensure that you are considerate to staff that are providing guidance and advice, and abide by their instructions.  Please be courteous and understand that staff are working in challenging circumstances.
  • consult the up to date advice on wearing face coverings as this may change in line with developing health advice
  • bear in mind that some people may find these measures more difficult to adhere to than others e.g. those with sight loss, autism, learning disabilities, dementia, or other communication or mobility needs. Please be considerate of them, respecting and accommodating differences by giving way when you are out and about.
  • be prepared to show ID for age-restricted purchases and possible removal of face coverings if requested. Staff are facing increased pressure at this time regarding age-verification, with face-coverings recommended for use.
  • abusive behaviour will not to be tolerated and at its worst it could constitute criminality.

We are clear that it will take businesses, employees and customers to each play their own part in making responsible choices to allow us to make progress in reopening the tourism and hospitality sector safely. At all times always put safety first.

Source: Scottish Government