Rethink curfew during Euros, Scottish pubs urge

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Curfew time: staff may face abuse for kicking out football fans during Euros matches, the Scottish Hospitality Group has said (image: Getty/Drazen Zigic)
Curfew time: staff may face abuse for kicking out football fans during Euros matches, the Scottish Hospitality Group has said (image: Getty/Drazen Zigic)

Related tags Football Curfew Sport Legislation Scotland Scottish

Scottish pub staff could face abuse when forced to kick out football fans during the middle of Euros matches because of curfew laws, a trade group has said.

Most of the central belt is subject to a 10.30pm curfew under level two rules​ while areas in level one can reopen half an hour longer and close at 11pm.

Pub staff will be forced to ask football fans to leave before games finish, potentially putting them at risk of abuse and violence, the Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG) has said.

SHG has asked the Scottish Government to urgently assess existing curfew rules for the tournament and consider the implications for police. 

Local authorities should be able to decide when pubs take last orders, the group added.

Calls for flexibility 

“We saw in the Europa League final that the game went on to extra time and then 22 penalties,” SHG spokesperson Stephen Montgomery said. 

“If the Scottish Government doesn’t give some flexibility to the current rules, we could end up in a situation where people can watch the group stages, but when it comes to the knockout round, hospitality staff are going to be forced to ask fans to leave right in the middle of all that.

“I’d like to see the officials and ministers who came up with these rules try to enforce them.

"Hospitality staff have taken enough punishment over the last year and they should not be forced to then ruin someone’s evening and potentially face a backlash. And you can easily see how trouble could start on the streets, meaning the police get called, which is a complete waste of their time.”

Unlike the national approach to lockdown easing in England and Wales, Scotland is subject to a levels framework, meaning different rules for different areas based on Covid rates.

Fury at fan zone

Glasgow operators have reacted with anger after a month-long fan zone with capacity for 6,000 football fans was given the green light.

Licensees in the city were hit with disappointment after Glasgow was held back from lockdown lifting plans​ that would have seen pubs able to serve alcohol indoors once more last month.

Now the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) has said Glasgow Life’s fan zone “adds insult to injury” for the city’s exhausted hospitality sector.

SLTA managing director Colin Wilkinson said: “To say that the trade in Glasgow is angry is an understatement – they are absolutely furious that 6,000 people will be permitted to converge on Glasgow Green and buy alcohol in a scenario that will see a contractor from outwith Scotland reaping the rewards.”

  •  Do you operate a pub business in Scotland? How do you feel about trade approaching the Euros tournament? Get in touch on rzvyl.unjxvaf@jeoz.pbz​ 

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