Further measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus, many of which inhibit hospitality, are to come into effect north of the border later this week, following Scotland recently recording more than 1,000 new positive test results in a single day. First minister Nicola Sturgeon told parliament that actions are needed now to prevent a return to the peak level of infections experienced in spring by the end of this month.
She said: “While there are significant restrictions still in place – and they are hard and painful – we are living much more freely now than in the spring and early summer. We are determined, if at all possible, that this will continue to be the case. We are not going back into lockdown. We are not closing schools. We are not halting the remobilisation of the NHS for non-Covid care. And we are not asking people to stay at home.
“The need for action is highlighted by the figures and, more fundamentally, in the evidence paper we have published. To try to interrupt this trajectory, we must act now. While the measures will feel like a backward step, they are in the interests of protecting our progress overall. It is by taking the tough but necessary action now that we hope to avoid even tougher action in future.”
The new restrictions, backed by a new £40m support fund for business and the existing UK Job Retention Scheme will be in place nationwide for 16 days, with tighter restrictions across central belt areas where the infection rate is highest. Restrictions on licensed premises will come into force from 18:00 on 9th October, with all other restrictions applying from 00:01 on 10th October.
The main new measures that apply to hospitality nationwide are all premises may only open indoors between 06:00 and 18:00, with no sales of alcohol, though premises may open outdoors until 10pm, with sales of alcohol (where licensed). Takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants), however, can continue, while evening meals may be served in accommodation for residents only but no alcohol can be served. In the central belt area all licensed premises will be required to close, with the exception of takeaway service. Unlicensed cafés, however, will be able to open between 06:00 and 18:00.