Shoppers have been urged to have patience and show respect for staff as heightened measures return amid new Covid restrictions.
Shopkeepers have issued the plea following the return of enforced social distancing in retail and hospitality over fears of an outbreak of the highly contagious variant Omicron.
Customers are now being asked to be patient and not take frustrations out on retail workers as the protection measures are stepped up.
The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF), the organisation representing convenience stores, says some shops are likely to have to reintroduce queuing systems to manage enhanced physical distancing as part of the national effort to slow the spread.
SGF Head of Policy Dr John Lee said: “Convenience stores have maintained high standards of hygiene and safety throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so.
“However, the latest Scottish Government announcement is going to put a huge amount of pressure back on some shop workers – and there may be a need for queuing to control numbers in some stores to ensure people can move around them smoothly and safely.
“Unfortunately this is having to happen at the busiest time of the year for retail – and we understand that some people will be unhappy.
“We are, though, asking shoppers to be patient and not to take their frustrations out on shop staff, who are key workers trying their best to serve their communities while keeping people safe.
“It is now a crime to abuse a retail worker and we encourage store owners across the country to take a zero-tolerance stance against all crime.
“By showing patience towards retail workers – perhaps allowing some extra time for your shopping – you can help them to help you. The measures in place are there to protect us all and they are simply doing their job.”
The enhanced public health rules were announced as SGF called on shoppers to #SayThanks to retail workers this Christmas for all they do to support those around them.
It is part of an ongoing drive to encourage better behaviour in stores after greater legal powers were introduced to punish those who threaten or abuse shop staff.
SGF is highlighting the measures through it’s Don’t Put Up With It Campaign, which champions the zero-tolerance to trouble message.
You can find more information about the Don’t Put Up With It campaign, here.
Anyone who witnesses a crime in a shop is urged to support their local shop staff by sharing information with Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.