Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday (Tuesday 18 January) announced the end of social distancing and the limit of three-households when socialising indoors, the reopening of nightclubs and the end of restrictions limiting hospitality businesses which serve alcohol to table service.
Scottish Beer & Pub Association CEO Emma McClarkin said: “This announcement from the First Minister that the restrictions introduced in late December are to be removed is very much welcomed by Scotland’s pubs.
Long road to recovery
“Table service only, social distancing measures and guidance on household limits had a major impact on many businesses, so it will be a boost when they can be removed next Monday, but it still remains a long and arduous road to recovery for the licensed trade.”
Vaccine passports, which are currently required in premises with a “designated area for dancing”, such as night clubs or late-night venues, were also discussed.
Sturgeon explained the definition for late night venues and nightclubs requiring vaccine certification was to be updated as of Monday to provide clarity and stop businesses avoiding certification by “simply by having tables on a dance floor and therefore claiming it is not a dancefloor, but nevertheless permitting dancing to take place.”
Positive step forward
The First Minister said the decision was “finely balanced” but noted if case numbers were to rapidly rise again, vaccine passports could be imposed on all hospitality venues in place of other, more restrictive options.
McClarkin added: “It’s positive Covid certification has not been extended to wider hospitality but it is still holding back the night-time economy.
“Changes to definitions on dancefloors will also likely impact a number of businesses, and we’re seeking urgent clarity from Government on that.
“The sector still requires support from Government but overall, this is a positive step forward.”