What shops and businesses are reopening in the coming days?

Scotland is moving into phase two of the plan to leave lockdown, loosening some restrictions on the economy.

What shops and businesses are reopening in the coming days? Getty Images

Retailers have welcomed news many of them will be able open their doors again before the month is over.

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) hailed the First Minister’s move on Thursday to broadly give the green light to shops previously classed as non-essential.

The organisation said it was a “significant milestone” that brings “much-needed clarity” to retailers around Scotland.

They aren’t the only sector to benefit from the shift to phase two of the lockdown route map announced by Nicola Sturgeon.

Others, like manufacturers, scientists and zookeepers, will also be getting back to work soon.

However, some types of businesses have been left to wait a while longer for the go-ahead.

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association called the decision not to set a date for reopening beer gardens a “bitter blow” for the trade.

So, who exactly is permitted to open their doors again, and when?


Non-essential retailers can get back to work from Monday, June 29, with social distancing in place.

Shoppers should be prepared for outlets to have different layouts and features, such as one-way aisles and plexiglass at cash desks.

Shops of any size that meet the government’s requirements can get back to work – previously, officials had suggested only small shops would be permitted to reopen in phase two.

But there is one other condition: shops must have outdoor entrances and exits.

This would mean those within indoor shopping centres could not reopen, except for those considered essential like supermarkets and pharmacists.

They should instead prepare for reopening in phase three.

Factories and warehouses

Indoor-based but non-office work – such as in factories, warehouses, labs and research facilities – can resume from June 29 provided public health guidance has been implemented.

Flexible working is to be encouraged, such as staggered start times for staff, to keep numbers on the roads and on public transport manageable.

For the working population in general, the advice is still to work from home wherever possible.

Office staff at firms considered non-essential can expect to begin returning to their places of work during phase three.

Outdoor markets and attractions

Zoos, safari parks, and garden attractions can open up once again for the summer from June 29 – however, you should not travel more than five miles to visit them.

Outdoor markets may open as well on the same date.

But beer gardens and restaurants and cafes with outdoor spaces cannot reopen, as had been hoped.

There is no date for when outdoor hospitality can resume but the issue will be considered again in a review on July 2, in a fortnight’s time.

Businesses in the tourism sector, including hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, pubs, museums and galleries, had previously been told to prepare for a reopening from July 15.


The construction sector has been given the nod to move to the next phase of its own bespoke route map from Monday coming, June 22.

Construction workers have already started gradually returning to building sites.

That workforce capacity can now continue to be built up with safeguards in place during phase two.

Sports facilities and playgrounds

Outdoor sports courts and playgrounds can reopen from June 29, while professional sport can resume from June 22 behind closed doors.

Indoor sports facilities, including leisure centres and gyms, remain closed – and were always earmarked for a phase three reopening.

But gyms will also be part of the July 2 review, with the Scottish Government looking at evidence on whether pubs, restaurants and gyms are particularly prone to being hotspots of Covid-19 transmission.

Dentists and optometrists

From June 22, dental practices can reopen for patients with urgent care needs.

Optometry practices may get back to work from June 29 for emergency and essential services.

More GP services will be available and some other health services deferred at the start of the pandemic in March will be resumed, beginning from June 22.

These include chronic disease treatment and some screening services.

Colleges and universities

Higher and further education staff can return to campuses around Scotland from June 22 to prepare for a restart.

Similarly, school staff were already permitted to return to work to make preparations during phase one.

The resumption of universities and colleges is expected as part of phase three.

Home removals

Restrictions on moving house will be lifted from June 29.

The policy of finding accommodation for those who have to stay away from home for work purposes – such as frontline medical professionals – will continue.


Registration offices can open for “high-priority tasks” from June 29.

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies can also take place again, but it must be outside and numbers must be kept low.

In addition, places of worship will reopen from June 22 for individual prayer.