What are the new restrictions in Scotland and how do they affect the hospitality industry?

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

first minister of scotland nicola sturgeon has set out new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

In her address on BBC One Scotland, she explained that while all decisions were a case of balancing the risk of loss of life with the indirect effects on lives and livelihoods, the urgency of the current situation - namely in the spread of infection to an older demographic than was the case a month ago - calls for stricter restrictions. 

"It is by taking tough and necessary action now that we hope to avoid tougher action later," she said. 

Stressing the importance of the impact on hospitality businesses, she added: "If this was a purely one-dimensional decision, it is very likely that we would go further."

"We have a duty to reduce all the harms caused by the restrictions as well as the virus." 

New measures will include: 

  • For 16 days as of Friday at 6pm and until 25th October, all pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes outside the central belt will only be able to serve people indoors from 6am to 6pm, serving food and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Establishments - restaurants, bars, cafes -  in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Lothean and Forthe Valley will be required to close for 16 days as of Friday at 6pm.
  • Hotels in the central belt will be allowed to operate, serving residents only.

Given the heavy impact this will have, support measures provided by the Scottish government will include: 

  • £40 million will be provided "to those who most need it", according to the first minister, who promising to get it to them as fast as possible
  • Contributions from employers to the furlough scheme will be waived in specific instances.

Regulations to extend the mandatory use of facemasks in indoor settings, strengthening compliance with a focus on areas where compliance is low, measures in retail locations including one-way systems in supermarkets, and further efforts to improve the testing system. 

The new measures are an extension to existing regulations in Scotland, which include:

  • No mixing of households inside the home
  • Maximum group sizes of six for meet-ups indoors and outdoors, to a maximum of two households
  • Avoiding crowded public places
  • Wearing a mask on public transport and wherever in contact with others
  • Wash hands regularly

In a final message of reassurance, she said:

"Sticking to this isn't easy and after seven months it is harder than it has ever been but it is essential. it is the best way to look out for each other and now more than ever we all need that spirit and solidarity that has served us so well." 

"Hard though it is to believe it right now, all the hard sacrifices we are making will hasten the brighter days that lie ahead. The pandemic will pass, so let's do everything we can to help each other through it."


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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 6th October 2020

What are the new restrictions in Scotland and how do they affect the hospitality industry?