The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SPBA) is urging the Scottish Government to adopt a 1 meter social-distancing requirement for bar, pubs and restaurants and is also seeking more clarity and a three-week notice period to re-open following the publication of the Scottish Government’s Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis
Commenting on the publication Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association said, “We are pleased by the publication and to see pubs included as part of a possible, limited reopening utilising outdoor spaces in Phase 2. This would be great news for those pubs which are in a position to re-open at this point, however no two pubs are the same and the practical challenges may mean that many premises will remain closed during this period.
“While the publication of the Scottish framework is welcome, it is clear that further detail will be needed for our sector to be able to look forward with confidence. We believe that pubs should only open when it is safe to do so, but the lack of any dates being attached to phases 2 and 3 gives us some concern.
“Pubs and the wider hospitality sector need at least three full weeks’ notice to be ready for reopening, as retraining of staff, replenishment of stock and other fundamental factors cannot happen overnight especially with new restrictions and measures needing to be implemented.
“The current social-distancing requirements of 2 metres, also present significant challenges for pubs. We would urge both the Scottish and UK governments to strongly investigate moving to 1 metre distancing, as endorsed by the World Health Organisation.
“We are committed to working closely with government to get our nation’s pubs back open as quickly as safe and possible to do so, but to do that we need to work collaboratively on the reopening plans and ensure adequate notice to get ready.
“Finally, if pubs are to remain closed for a significant period of time, additional financial support will be needed. Without it, the social hubs and heart of communities in many towns, villages and cities across Scotland will be lost forever.”