Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Environmental health and trading standards

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Want to know more about what we've done in lockdown?

Throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic, Trading Standards and Environmental Health Officers all over Scotland have been working hard to keep up existing standards and meet all the new challenges posed by lockdown.

The Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland and The Society of Chief Officers in Trading Standards Scotland have joined forces to produce this video showing  the enormous amount of work carried out by officers from Trading Standards and Environmental Health throughout Scotland during the Covid 19 Pandemic. It demonstrates what our teams have been doing to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Preparing to re-open - what you need to know

The route map announced by the First Minister on the 21 May 2020 is a plan which the Scottish Government implemented following a review on 28 May.

Following this review, some of the restrictions were eased, allowing certain specified businesses to open from 29 May.

Test and protect: multi-sector guidance on collection of customer and visitor contact details

The Scottish Government has published guidance for businesses to support the Test and Protect Scheme. 

The package includes privacy notices and posters in the supporting files for use in your business along with a longer guidance document which explains your role in Test and Protect. 

Visit the Scottish Government website to find out more.

New guidance 

Scottish Government has published the initial workplace sector guidance for easing lockdown restrictions. The guides published are for  manufacturing and  retail  with linked customer guidance and  consideration on how people can safely return to work.

They include advice on equipment and services needed to create the conditions for safer workplaces and detailed steps required for businesses to consider for reopening.  Our Regulatory Services and Business Support  teams will provide the necessary business support and regulation during the easing of lockdown restrictions . 

Until then, current restrictions remain in place, and we ask all businesses to remain patient and only plan to open when permitted to do so while sticking to  Scottish Government health advice 

For more guidance on social distancing or to access a broader range of business support mechanisms available from East Ayrshire Council please  email our economic development team. You can visit their Business Support page. And sign up to receive regular Business Support email bulletins.

The Scottish Government has now published guidance on opening public and customer toilets. 

Travel and holiday advice

If your holiday booking is cancelled because of coronavirus (COVID-19), contact the company you booked with.

Find out more about your right to a refund on our travel and holiday advice page.

Smoking and vaping in queues

The Scottish Government has asked retailers take steps to discourage people from smoking or vaping whilst waiting in queues to enter their premises.

In line with the Scottish Government's phase two retail sector and consumer guidance, and operational guide for retailers (COVID-19) checklist, Dr Gregor Smith, Interim Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, asks business owners  to consider placing signs or notices outside premises to encourage individuals not to smoke or vape whilst waiting in queues, for the consideration and comfort of others.

For more information, read this letter from Dr Gregor Smith, Interim Chief Medical Officer for Scotland (PDF 435Kb) 

Health and safety guidance posters

Download and print these guidelines for your business:

Legionella guidance

Due to the emergency period of the coronavirus response, many businesses have been closed completely. Businesses have a legal duty to take suitable precautions to protect others from Legionella in their water systems following such a prolonged closure. 

Guidance on how to comply can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website.

If you require further support, please email  environmentalhealth@east-ayrshire.gov.uk

Outdoor sport guidance 

The Scottish Government has confirmed that it is changing exercise guidelines to allow participation in a variety of outdoor sports, where safe to do so, as part of the recently published route map out of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

The guidance came  into effect as soon as is practical and safe, from Friday 29 May onwards, and includes detailed information on areas such as social distancing when playing, access to facilities and general health and safety. Participants will be permitted to travel short distances from their local community and are encouraged to travel by foot, car or bicycle where possible. 

The latest sport-specific guidance can be found on the Sport Scotland website.

Pest control service re-opens

We've had to re-organise our Pest Control service since the introduction of COVID-19 measures. We're now ready to re-start our service.

While we're under restrictions we will assess each request to consider both your safety and that of our Pest Control staff. With this in mind we ask that you co-operate with our staff to give us safe access to your property while following social distancing guidelines.

If you have concerns about social distancing within any business premises including shops and workplaces please contact us by email on environmentalhealth@east-ayrshire.gov.uk.

How much the service costs

Our current charges are:

  • £48.00, including VAT, for all pest control work (except fumigations)  
  • £120.00, including VAT, for fumigations

East Ayrshire Council tenants

If you are an East Ayrshire Council tenant these charges are paid by our Housing Service.

Private and social housing tenants

If you are a private or social housing tenant you should contact your landlord, before you contact us, to find out who will pay the cost.

Homeowners

If you own your home you are responsible for payments for work at your own property.

Who to contact

If you have a pest control problem please email  RegulatoryServices@east-ayrshire.gov.uk

Coronavirus scams

Fraudsters are using the COVID-19 pandemic to scam the public – don’t become a victim.

The majority of scams being reported are  online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser, and other products, which have never arrived.

Other frauds being reported include  ticket fraudromance fraudcharity fraud and  lender loan fraud.

Business scams

The spread of coronavirus means more people are working from home than ever before. This provides fewer opportunities to talk to colleagues, a different work environment  and may result in increased stress.

Criminals have taken advantage of these changes to target employees who are more isolated from colleagues, in order to gain sensitive information or make payments. They will also try to gain access to business devices and networks and everything stored on them. Scams include:

  • fake COVID-19 grant payments
  • tax refund frauds
  • false invoices for face masks

The increased risk for businesses has led National Trading Standards to encourage more businesses to join  Businesses Against ScamsThe initiative provides free tools for businesses to help upskill and train their workforce, through free online training modules that will help staff identify and prevent potential scams. 

Phishing

There have also been a number of reports of coronavirus-themed phishing attempts – the majority of which are emails.

These communications try to trick people into opening malicious attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing people’s personal information, email logins and passwords, and banking details.

Cyber criminals prey on fears of the coronavirus, sending 'phishing' emails that try and trick users into clicking on a bad link. Once clicked, you are sent to a dodgy website which could download malware onto your computer or steal passwords.

Scams may claim to have a 'cure' for the virus, offer a financial reward, or be encouraging you to donate. Like many phishing scams, these emails are preying on real-world concerns to try and trick people into doing the wrong thing.

  • Fraudsters pretending to be from a research group that mimic the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO). They claim to provide the victim with a list of active infections in their area but to access this information the victim needs to either:
    • click on a link which redirects them to a credential-stealing page
    • make a donation of support in the form of a payment into a Bitcoin account

  • Fraudsters providing articles about the virus outbreak with a link to a fake company website where victims are encouraged to click to subscribe to a daily newsletter for further updates
  • Fraudsters sending investment scheme and trading advice encouraging people to take advantage of the coronavirus downturn.
  • Emails claiming to be from HMRC offering a tax refund due to changes in the law around COVID-19. You’re asked to click a link which takes you to a fraudulent website. The emails often display the HMRC logo making it look reasonably genuine and convincing. We have also had reports of people receiving similar text messages. If you receive a message like this, delete it immediately and do not click any of the links it contains.
  • Messages claiming to be from your council for bank details so that services can continue be provided. In parts of the UK these emails have been targeted at families receiving free school meals. Delete the message immediately. Do not follow any links and do not provide any personal information or bank details.
  • Messages pretending to be from your council or a company you make payments to, asking you to change the bank details to which you make those payments. Don’t feel pressurised into changing details, if genuine they will be happy to wait until you have checked it is genuine.
  • Fraudulent text messages issuing fines for leaving home. One example stated “GOV.UK CORONAVIRUS ALERT. You have been fined £3,550.73 for leaving your property without reason”. Ignore these texts.
  • Calls telling you that your laptop or network has a virus and that fraudsters are accessing your data. If you get calls like this, hang up and do not engage with the caller.
  • Mobile phone applications claiming to give you updates on the virus but instead they lock your phone and demand a ransom.

Remember, criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. Don’t let your guard down. Always stop and consider before parting with your money or information. Don’t be rushed.

Report a scam

If you think you’ve been caught out by a scam contact your bank immediately and report it to Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or to our Trading Standards Service at trading.standards@east-ayrshire.gov.uk.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest reported scams on the Trading Standards Scotland website and on our Trading Standard's Facebook page.

Find out more

To find out more please visit:

Suspension of dog warden services

We have regrettably had to suspend dog warden services with immediate effect until further notice. This decision has been taken in the interests of staff safety due to the current coronavirus pandemic.

Food premises changing to takeaways and delivery services

We understand that food premises may look to change their business model and diversify in order to maintain their business during this time. 

Read advice for food businesses (PDF 206Kb) that are looking to make provision for takeaways and deliveries where they have not done so before.

A food business will only be in a position do this if they are currently registered and risk rated with East Ayrshire Council’s Environmental Health or another local authority. 

Health protection regulations

The Health Protection (Coronavirus)(Restrictions)(Scotland) Regulations 2020 have been made in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of coronavirus in Scotland. These regulations detail businesses that are subject to restrictions or closure.

Two types of business that are licensed and regulated by East Ayrshire Council that are not detailed within the above legislation are Street Traders and Window Cleaners. Unless there is an amendment to the legislation to include these businesses, there is no legal obligation for these businesses to cease trading and there are currently no legal powers to enforce closure.

We would advise though that these businesses do not trade. However, if in the case of a Street Trader, the goods being offered for sale or delivery are providing a service to the elderly and those self isolating, licence holders should comply with the regulations and take all reasonable steps to ensure that a social distancing of two metres is maintained between anyone using the facility. Members of the public using the facility should also take reasonable steps to ensure the same social distancing of two metres from another person.

Police Scotland Officers and relevant East Ayrshire Council officers will be monitoring licence holders to ensure that this is being observed.

If there are further amendments to the legislation in respect of the above, a further update will be published.

If anyone has any concerns about the above businesses, please contact:

Useful links

Contact Information

Council Headquarters
London Road
Kilmarnock
East Ayrshire
KA3 7BU
Contact us online: www.eastayrshi.re/contactus
Save time, do it online: www.our.east-ayrshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 01563 554400
Textphone: 01563 576167
24 Hour Emergency Helpline: 0345 724 0000 (local rate)
Environmental Health
Regulatory Services
Civic Centre South Building
16 John Dickie Street
Kilmarnock
East Ayrshire
KA1 1HW
Telephone: 01563 576790 (Option 5)
Fax: 01563 503125
Trading Standards Service
Civic Centre South
John Dickie Street
Kilmarnock
KA1 1HW
Telephone: 01563 576790 (Option 5)