Coronavirus guidance on calculating physical distancing capacity in public settings

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

The Scottish Government has published guidance on how to work out the maximum number of people who can physically distance within a public setting, including businesses, places of worship and public events. This is designed to help businesses and venues reopen and continue to operate safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This guidance is based on physical distancing standards which have been in place since summer 2020. It does not change the policy or regulatory position on physical distancing requirements. 

Instead, it is designed to help businesses and other public settings what capacity they can operate at based on the existing requirement. These calculations should also take into account any sector-specific guidance, as well as your unique business layout and flow within your premises.

The guidance includes links to related guidance and resources.

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

Most businesses in Scotland can use this guidance. It includes sections on calculating physical distancing-based capacity for:

  • non-domestic premises, such as businesses, workplaces and any other public building except for those used to deliver essential public services (such as schools, hospitals, courts, prisons, etc)
  • life events, such as weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, funerals and their accompanying receptions (but not milestone events such as birthdays)
  • indoor and outdoor events, including any defined activities or gatherings with a focus on culture, sport, recreation, entertainment, art or business

Note that the following are not covered by the events guidance:

  • mass participation sports (for example, marathons and triathlons etc – separate guidance is available
  • cinemas, bingo halls, snooker halls or casinos – these are not considered events, so the non-domestic premises guidance (and separate sector guidance) applies
  • static demonstrations – separate guidance is available
  • marches and parades – these will be covered by separate guidance when they are allowed to resume
  • picketing – this is exempt through the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Amendment (No.18) Regulations 2021
  • flagship events which are identified through the Scottish Government Events Gateway Process

How long does this take?

It will take around 25 minutes to read the guidance.

Next steps

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information and to read the full guidance.

Support provided by Scottish Government

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