Scottish pubs given green light for reopening

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Road to recovery: pub operators said they had been unfairly hit by restrictions on serving alcohol indoors (image: Getty/monkeybusinessimages)
Road to recovery: pub operators said they had been unfairly hit by restrictions on serving alcohol indoors (image: Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

Related tags: Scotland, Scottish, Nicola Sturgeon

Pubs in Scotland will be able to reopen next week, it was confirmed by the First Minister.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said pubs would be able to open alongside gyms and non-essential shops from Monday 26 April.

When mainland Scotland moves from level four to level three of coronavirus restrictions, pubs will be permitted to sell alcohol outdoors to a maximum group of six people from six households.

However, they will not be able to sell alcohol indoors but can serve food and soft drinks to a cap of six people from two households indoors until 8pm.

Alcohol ban

Trade is unviable for many venues across the country under these restrictions, trade bodies and operators have said. 

Unrestricted travel within Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland will also be permitted from next week, depending on local restrictions.

Funerals and weddings, including receptions, may occur with up to 50 people and may serve alcohol.

This has frustrated many in the pub sector and Stephen Montgomery, spokesperson for the Scottish Hospitality Group previously said the rule was “ridiculous”.

“You can toast the bride and groom in the function suite but you can’t have a glass of wine on a first date in the restaurant next door,” he added.

Lockdown easing 

The sector would be “more confused than ever at a decision which makes no sense,” Montgomery said.

Operators will have to wait until the next stage of the lockdown easing plan to serve alcohol indoors, when the whole country may be able to relax further on Monday 17 May.

There will also be extended curfews at this point and hospitality rules would also be eased to allow more people to meet up indoors.

Sturgeon said officials were optimistic that Scotland would be able to move to level one on 7 June and to level zero later in the month.

She said she hoped the country would be back to something like normality by July.

  • Do you operate a pub business based in Scotland? Please get in touch with your thoughts and experiences of preparing to reopen on rzvyl.unjxvaf@jeoz.pbz​ 

Related topics: Legislation

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