15th July date set for Scottish restaurants, bars and pubs to reopen

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

Scottish pubs, bars and restaurants will be allowed to open their doors on 15th July, as announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, a day after Boris Johnson gave English establishments the all-clear for July 4th

The news comes after the 6th of July was earmarked as the date on which outdoor hospitality businesses - such as beer gardens and al fresco dineries - would be allowed to reopen in Scotland. 

It's time

Because public health measures are devolved, Scotland has been free to take a more cautious approach than England in relaxing its lockdown measures.

In her address, Nicola Sturgeon acknowledged that the pace at which lockdown has been eased in Scotland has been slower than in England, but stressed the importance of moving carefully to avoid a resurgence of the virus. 

She said: "Our challenge, not an easy one, is to manage all of this change while keeping the virus firmly under control. If at any stage there appears to be a risk of its resurgence, our path out of lockdown will be halted and we may even have to go backwards.

"To avoid that, we must get as close as possible to elimination of the virus now, and build confidence in our ability to control it in future through surveillance, testing, contact tracing and,where necessary, targeted suppression measures."

However, the first minister then said that as new data showed that the coronavirus death rate has continued to fall for the eighth week in a row, meaning that "firmer milestones" could be set for the journey out of lockdown.

While England has changed its social distancing guidance, reducing the appropriate distance from 2 metres to 1 when the former isn't possible - as long as other mitigating measures are in place - advisors in Scotland are still reviewing whether or not to ease the rule North of the border. 

As well as the indoor areas of pubs, bars and restaurants, holiday accommodation, hairdressers, art galleries, cinemas, libraries and most shops will be allowed to reopen, providing they can put appropriate safety measures in place - including keeping customer data for up to four weeks in order to facilitate any test and trace procedures if an outbreak were to occur. 

Measures for the safe reopening of the hospitality sector were announced by the first minister last week, in line with guidance from trade body UKHospitality. The guidelines for England can be found here

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 24th June 2020

15th July date set for Scottish restaurants, bars and pubs to reopen