Socialising safely

Restrictions on outdoor hospitality industry eased.

People are being encouraged to socialise safely as beer gardens and pavement cafes across Scotland re-open.

As the hospitality sector gradually eases out of lockdown new measures to ensure the health and safety of customers and staff will be in place including the collection of customer’s contact details to allow contact tracing if necessary.

Anyone planning on sitting-in during a trip to a beer garden or outdoor café will be asked to provide their name and contact telephone number to the business as well as logging the date and time of their visit.

In the event an individual who has been in such a venue tests positive for COVID-19, NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect service may ask for details of anyone present at the same time in order to contact them and advise them to isolate.   

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited Edinburgh’s Cold Town House venue to see just some of the changes businesses are putting in place to ensure staff and customers can socialise safely.

The First Minister said: “The sacrifices made by the public have suppressed this virus, protected our health service and ultimately saved lives and I know those sacrifices have not always been easy.

“I hope that as we take these first gradual steps out of lockdown people will begin to feel more of the sense of normality that we have worked so hard for - although it is important to remember that the virus has not gone away so we cannot get complacent.

“No beer garden or café should feel the same as it did before. The vast majority of the hospitality industry will be following the rules and putting in place new procedures to help control the virus. People should look for those safety measures and be aware of the need to follow the FACTS at all times when out in the community.  If you don’t see those safety measures, or you don’t feel you can follow appropriate hygiene rules, than don’t take the risk.

“If we continue to stick to the rules we will be able to drive the virus down further and live less restricted lives in the weeks and months ahead. Until then support local businesses if you can, socialise safely and make sure that while you enjoy yourself you also protect others.”

Stephen Montgomery, President of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, added: “The SLTA welcomes the reopening of our sector today, with the first phase, our beer gardens.

“We understand that there will be changes in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 which we are sure customers will understand.

“We would encourage customers to keep to physical distancing measures and work with premises to ensure public health is maintained, including providing staff with contact details to support Test and Protect.”


Test and protect is Scotland’s approach to preventing the spread of coronavirus in the community.

Remember FACTS for a safer Scotland.

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