The Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy has published an update directed at businesses which highlights the need for a continued focus on covid’s baseline measures.

Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, has published a statement encouraging businesses to “keep some precautionary measures in place to allow for a gradual and cautious approach” as the economy fully reopens.

“Since the start of the pandemic, businesses have made huge changes and sacrifices to protect public health. I’m incredibly grateful to the business community and would like to thank everyone who has spent time and effort to make their businesses as safe as possible for customers and staff. Your contribution has been vital in helping us control the spread of the virus.

We know these necessary modifications have often had a detrimental impact on the economic activity of businesses so I’m pleased our economy is now able to open fully as we move beyond Level 0.

However, the virus has not disappeared and case numbers have been increasing. That is why it is important we keep some precautionary measures in place to allow for a gradual and cautious approach, particularly as we move into the winter when more people will be interacting indoors. This will help to reduce the risk of outbreaks and allow all sectors of the economy to stay open.

Businesses have shown great leadership throughout the pandemic in encouraging adherence with mitigations and we would ask that this continues at this fragile time. I would urge customers to follow the guidance too, to support the businesses they use.

The most important step we can take to control the virus is to get vaccinated and we would encourage all who have not yet been vaccinated to do so.

Alongside this we urge businesses to continue to communicate and work with their employees to implement measures which will help us supress the virus:

1. wear face coverings – this is legally required in most indoor public places including retail, restaurants, cafes, bars, workplaces and on public transport for staff and customers

2. support staff to self-isolate if they are asked to do so by the NHS

3. regular testing of staff to help break the chains of transmission

4. continue to work with staff to support home working

5. keep your premises as well ventilated as possible

Guidance for safer businesses and workplaces can be found on the Scottish Government website, including a range of further precautionary measures and good practice which can be used in workplaces to reduce the risk of outbreaks.