Hospitality venues in Scotland have been given the green light to reopen from April 26.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the country’s biggest step in easing of lockdown yet, as she announced a roadmap out of lockdown, with normality anticipated from July.
Sturgeon said the whole of Scotland would enter Covid Alert Level 3 from Monday, and will then move to level 2 from May 17, level 1 from June 7 and level zero later that month.
The new level 3 means that indoor hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants and hotels can reopen along with other tourist accommodation and indoor attractions, at the same time as non-essential retail outlets and close contact services.
Indoor hospitality will however have a curfew of 8pm and no alcohol will be sold indoors until May 17, when the curfew lifts to 10.30pm.
Food and drink, including alcohol, may be served outside subject to local licensing timings.
There is still confusion surrounding the rules on social distancing, with conflicting messages on whether guests from different households but at the same table need to be seated 1 metre apart, as well as from other tables.
A guide on distancing measurements and requirements has been released and prompted concerned from operators. An update from UKHospitality however, said that businesses only need to maintain 1m+ distancing between tables and not within groups on the same table.
Businesses will be required the determine capacity as part of their risk assessment and take contact details from each person within a group.
Also as part of the Level 3 alert, weddings and funerals attendance increase to 50.
The First Minister confirmed that the rules on social distancing within hospitality venues will remain unchanged; businesses will need to determine capacity as part of their risk assessment and maintain 1m+ distancing between tables not within groups on the same table.
Takeaways can resume normal service – with physical distancing and face masks. Gyms and swimming pools can also reopen for individual exercise.
The remaining travel restrictions within Scotland will be lifted and travel within the UK will be permitted for any purpose from 26 April.
The Scottish Government will work with Westminster and other Devolved Administrations on a common approach to restarting international travel after 17 May.