How has coronavirus impacted pubs in Scotland?

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Legislation, Scotland, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Scottish licensed trade association

The Morning Advertiser takes a look at how coronavirus has affected pubs in Scotland from when lockdown was first announced at the beginning of spring this year.


Along with the rest of the UK, Scottish pub, restaurants, gyms and other social venues across the nation were ordered to close on Friday 20 March.


In Scotland, beer gardens were able to reopen from 6 July and indoor settings being able to operate from 15 July.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed social distancing measures would be subject to rigorous research.


A ban on background noise caused an immediate drop in trade of more than 20% for some venues in Scotland, the body representing licensed businesses there has said.

The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) called on ministers to repeal its ban on music and sound from TV, a change included in new regulations for the sector on 14 August.

In the same month, a city-wide shutdown in Aberdeen​ took place with pubs and bars ordered to close at 5pm on Wednesday 5 August after 54 cases were reported in the area.

Restrictions in the city were lifted at midnight on Sunday 23 August.


Last month, the Scottish Government told university students not to visit pubs​ over Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 following outbreaks of coronavirus across several campuses.

Since Monday 14 September, face coverings became mandatory for customers in pubs when not eating or drinking or seated at a table.

Alongside this, guidance that staff working in hospitality settings should wear face coverings was made a legal requirement.

The 10pm curfew came into effect in Scotland alongside table service and face mask for indoor settings apart from when eating or drinking.


On Wednesday 7 October, Sturgeon announced pubs, restaurants and cafés in most of Scotland would be banned from serving alcohol inside for more than a fortnight​.

In addition, pubs in Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley were ordered to close to all except takeaway services for the same time period.

In other areas, pubs can only serve open indoor spaces between 6am and 6pm and cannot serve alcohol in these areas however, booze can be sold outside until 10pm.

The measures come into force on Friday 9 October for 16 days – until Sunday 25 October.

Current measures on meeting a maximum of six people from two households will still apply.

Sturgeon also said an additional £40m would be made available to support businesses affected by these measures.

A survey from the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) of 600 on-trade venues highlighted within the pub and bar sector, 12,500 jobs could be lost due to restrictions.

Related topics: Legislation

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