Over 200 pubs in Scotland could reopen for the first time since Covid-19 pandemic

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

SBPA chief Emma McClarkin calls for lifting of restrictions
SBPA chief Emma McClarkin calls for lifting of restrictions

Related tags Scotland

More than 200 pubs in Scotland could reopen for the first time on 9 August, if restrictions are lifted enabling pubs to trade viably again, the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has said.

The news comes as the Scottish Government is expected to confirm a removal of restrictions from 9 ​August and announce baseline measures next week.

The SBPA has held recent meetings with the Scottish Government and Ministers to highlight key restrictions that need to be removed in pubs to make trade viable, whilst keeping customers safe. 

The trade association said it was key for the nation’s pubs that there is a removal of table-only service and an end to the midnight curfew.

According to the industry, if these restrictions on pubs are removed, they can work with the Scottish Government on other baseline measures so long as they are workable and maintain business viability.

Key restrictions

“It is vital for our hospitality industry and pubs that key restrictions are removed. Scotland is estimated to have lost 285 pubs since the start of the pandemic, but a further 200 plus pubs could reopen on the 9 of August if enough restrictions are removed,” said SBPA CEO Emma McClarkin. 

“We have been pushing the government strongly on this, particularly the need to end the curfew on trading hours which has meant late-night premises are unable to open, and the end of table-only service – which has been devastating to many of our smaller establishments.”

The SPBA said that if heavy restrictions remain in place beyond the baseline that make pubs unviable, then more pubs could be at risk of closing for good. 


“It is crucial the Scottish Government get this right and align us closely as possible to the other nations of the UK to ensure our recovery is not outpaced and we lose out on investment. We stand ready to work with the Scottish Government to get this right,” McClarkin said.  

“The pandemic has been devastating to the trade but with the right of support from Government, we can bounce back to become a powerhouse of the economy once again. If that support falls short though, we’ll see more business failures on top of the 285 pubs already lost.”


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