Scottish pubs could open on 15 July

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Save the date: pubs in Scotland can ready themselves for a potential reopening date of Wednesday 15 July
Save the date: pubs in Scotland can ready themselves for a potential reopening date of Wednesday 15 July

Related tags: Coronavirus

Pubs in Scotland could be allowed to reopen from Wednesday 15 July for indoor use.

Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing told the Scottish Parliament that businesses may be able to reopen for indoor use on 15 July, depending on whether the country was able to move to the next phase of easing lockdown restrictions at that point.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also said beer gardens could be allowed to open next week in Scotland. 

Trade bodies have urged for a revision of the two metre social distancing measure to one metre and further support measures for pubs that are unable to reopen in the coming weeks.

The Scottish Government has said it will publish guidance on reopening on Thursday 18 June.

Emma McClarkin, CEO of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association said the setting of a reopen date was positive news for pubs and brewers in Scotland.

She added: “This gives some much-needed clarity for the sector and will also give industry the time necessary to put in place what is needed to reopen safely on 15 July.

Distancing aims

However, she said up to two-thirds of pubs would need to remain closed with 2m distancing.

“It is imperative for the hospitality sector that the Scottish Government explores the World Health Organisation’s suggested one-metre rule for social distancing. 

“Other countries, like New Zealand have allowed their pubs to safely re-open up at one-metre distance. If this was followed in Scotland, we could save thousands of jobs which otherwise will be lost through redundancies.”

Similarly, UKHospitality (UKH) welcomed the announcement however said there was a long way to go.

UKH executive director for Scotland, Willie Macleod said: “It’s good to have some clarity from the Scottish Government and a real sense that we are moving towards the reopening of hospitality and tourism businesses. 

Subject to change

“Recognising that there may be a need to change dates and timing in the interests of health and safety, it will take time, weeks in some cases, for businesses to get back in working order, communicate with customers, handle bookings, arrange staffing and order supplies, so this lead-time is very helpful.”

The trade body is calling on the Scottish Government to put in place a prominent messaging campaign to boost consumer confidence in the hospitality and tourism sectors.

In England, 4 July has been stated as the earliest date that pubs will be able to reopen from.​ The Government has not said when it will release its guidelines on how pubs should reopen​ or clarified if any specific distancing requirements would be needed.

Boris Johnson confirmed it was “still the plan” that outdoor pubs would not reopen before 4 July, as there were “continuing risks” to safety, at Prime Minister's Questions yesterday.

Related topics: Legislation, Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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