SCOTTISH business leaders have called for clarity from the Government over which firms should remain open and which should close during the coronavirus crisis.

In a statement, the Confederation of British Industry, Federation of Small Businesses, Institute of Directors, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, and nine others, say the Government’s message to “stay at home” isn’t “as straightforward as it may seem”.

“Recent confusion over which firms are required to close, and which are permitted to remain open, has resulted in different interpretations – with conflicting views and public debate as a consequence.

“Key to ensuring we strike the right balance are clear and consistent guidelines from the Government, as well as simple and structured systems to deliver them – without this, ambiguity is certain to emerge.

“So far, intervention from business and government has been rapid and effective.

“However only by extending assistance and ensuring it’s both up-to-date and correctly targeted can we be sure of doing everything in our power to protect jobs, the economy and people’s livelihoods”.

While the UK Government compiled a list of key workers in England, the Scottish Government has devolved the responsibility to local authorities, saying that each council should draw up its own list to reflect “the diverse range of localities” in the country.

The two governments have also diverged over construction, with Nicola Sturgeon calling for work on all non-essential construction to stop.

The UK Government believes construction is fine as long as workers obey social distancing rules.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We have set out principles for businesses to consider, such as whether the activities that the business is engaged in are material to the wellbeing of the country and if so, whether the business can allow staff to work at home and if not, whether it can ensure safe social distancing.”