Changes to current restrictions.
The new levels framework will increase the opportunity for hospitality businesses to operate during different levels of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.
Under the new system set out by the Scottish Government, hospitality premises may sell alcohol indoors with a main meal up to 8pm at level two, enabling the service of an early evening meal. At present, hospitality premises outside the central belt cannot serve alcohol indoors and must close indoors at 6pm.
At level three – equivalent to the current restrictions in the central belt – the definition of cafes will be removed, enabling all hospitality premises to operate in the daytime, up to 6pm, without the sale of alcohol.
Hotels and other accommodation will continue to be able to serve evening meals to residents.
The expansion of the hospitality provisions within the new levels system takes effect from Monday 2nd November and will be kept under review as the spread of the virus hopefully stabilises.
The Scottish Government has also committed to taking forward a range of additional mitigations suggested by the industry with the sector, as well as continuing to consider how low level background sound in hospitality premises can be safely managed.
The changes follow close engagement with the sector, since Friday, including ministerial discussions on Saturday, and discussions are continuing on the content of the relevant regulations.
Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
“I understand that any restrictions are hard for business and I know that many will want us to go further, however this is a proportionate relaxation of the current rules that will enable premises to serve evening meals and alcohol in level two, in addition to removing the distinction between cafés and other licensed premises at level three.
“We need to be very cautious at level three, to ensure that the restrictions in place contribute to reducing the spread of the virus, so that they can be lifted as soon as possible.
“I want to thank the sector for its constructive engagement over the weekend and commit to continuing these discussions as we go forward.”