Scottish venues able to open longer for Euros matches

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Opening hours: the Scottish Government has said pubs can open longer if needed during the Euros football tournament (image: VTTStudio / Getty)
Opening hours: the Scottish Government has said pubs can open longer if needed during the Euros football tournament (image: VTTStudio / Getty)

Related tags: Scotland, Scottish, Legislation, Health and safety, Football, Curfew, coronavirus

Scottish pubs have welcomed news that they will be allowed to open longer in the event of matches from UEFA Euro 2020 continuing beyond curfews.

Pubs in level one and two areas are subject to 11pm and 10.30pm curfews under the Scottish Government’s current pandemic levels system.

Ivan McKee, the minister for business, trade, tourism and enterprise, wrote to hospitality sector bodies and confirmed a temporary curfew extension between 26 June and 11 July.

If Euros games go into extra time and penalties then pubs will be able to stay open until 11.30pm to “facilitate viewing of the whole game and ensure safe departure of patrons thereafter.”

Pub operators had expressed concerns over the strict curfews, arguing staff would be put at risk of abuse and violence if forced to kick out customers during matches.

Pragmatic approach

A “pragmatic approach is required to deal with unique scenarios,” McKee said, confirming guidance would be updated to reflect the provision this Friday (25 June).

Scottish Hospitality Group’s spokesperson Stephen Montgomery welcomed the decision. 

“We’ve been campaigning for an extension on closing times for some time now, as we know that forcing pubs to evict football fans mid-game could put our staff at a serious risk of abuse,” he said.

Montgomery added: “It’s great to see that the Scottish Government has finally listened to our concerns and thought about the potential consequences that restrictions on opening hours can have.

Back in the game

“This decision will work in everyone’s interest – we all want to socialise after the difficulties of the past year, and it’s much better to do so in a well-run pub with lots of public health measures in place.”

The SHG called for the Scottish Government to extend the curfew for levels one and two for the week leading up to 19 July

“Struggling businesses now need to be allowed to trade viably beyond Euro 2020 so that they can get back in the game,” Montgomery added.

Related topics: Legislation

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