Pubs allowed to serve alcohol indoors in Scotland

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Scottish lockdown: pubs will be able to serve alcohol indoors until 10.30pm from next week (image: Getty/nautiluz56)
Scottish lockdown: pubs will be able to serve alcohol indoors until 10.30pm from next week (image: Getty/nautiluz56)

Related tags Scotland Nicola Sturgeon Pubs Hospitality lockdown Coronavirus

Scottish pubs will be permitted to serve customers pints inside from next week, after the next easing of lockdown rules was confirmed.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the overall situation as "a very positive one" and said most of mainland Scotland would be able to progress to level two of the country's levels framework.

Scots will be able to gather together in private homes for the first time in many months as well as head to the pub for a pint from Monday 17 May.

However, the Moray area may be held back from this easing, given “widespread community transmission” of coronavirus cases, Sturgeon cautioned.

Normality restored

What’s more, the Scottish islands will be allowed to ease restrictions “more quickly” given their low levels of the virus and successful vaccination rollout.

This stage of lockdown easing would “restore much more normality to everyday lives,” Sturgeon said.

Pubs will be able to serve alcohol to customers up until 10.30pm with customers permitted to meet in groups of up to six people from up to three households.

More people can meet up together at an indoor public place such as a hospitality venue than in private homes, where the limit is four people from two households.

Children under 12 years old do not count towards the total number of people or households meeting outside but do count towards numbers indoors.

Trading rules

For indoor service, pubs must operate two hour pre-booked slots.

Pubs can operate outdoors within local licensing conditions and eight people from up to eight households can meet for a drink or meal outside. 

Hospitality venues will still be required to take customer and visitor contact details.

A new app Check In Scotland has been launched to help NHS Test and Protect contact-tracers contact those who may have come into contact with the virus.

The First Minister said the changes were the "most important yet" but warned Scots to remain careful and make sensible judgements.

She refused to put a date on the total scrapping of social distancing and other pandemic rules but suggested it could be this summer.

UKHospitality Scotland executive director Leon Thompson welcomed the confirmation of the relaxation of rules.

Thompson said: “The easing of restrictions provides a much-needed psychological boost and promises some economic respite for businesses that have experienced fourteen months of severely disrupted trading. Getting to level zero, and then beyond that, as quickly as possible is absolutely critical. Only then will venues begin to operate in economically viable conditions.

Even after restrictions were removed, the sector would still be in a "very fragile state" that required continued Government support, he added.

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