Beer gardens get ‘indicative’ green light

Monday 6th July is the new provisional date that Scottish beer gardens and other outdoor hospitality areas can open. The news, delivered by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon today, (24 June)  is still subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review, which is likely to report on the 2nd July. This will allow, suggests the First Minister, time for guidance to be issued and time for businesses to put any necessary ‘mitigations’ in place.
The First Minister also revealed that when hospitality businesses open on 15th July, the indicative date, they would have to have a register in place for taking their customers names and contact numbers to facilitate the test and protect system.
She made the proviso that the opening of beer gardens would depend on the “continued suppression of the virus.”  Saying, “But let me be clear that each step on this path depends on us continuing to beat the virus back. That is why we must do everything in our power to avoid steps being reversed.”
At the same briefing, she also relaxed travel restrictions from 3rd Jul and gave the green light for self-contained holiday accommodation to open.  But also said that there is no date for nightclubs or live music venues,
For the time being, physical distancing of 2 metres continues to be required in Scotland. The First Minister confirmed that the Scientific Advisory Group is providing advice on higher transmission risk settings and physical distancing and that she will provide a further update on 2 July, ahead of the proposed dates for re-opening hospitality.

The First Minister also followed England’s route with the announcement that all hospitality businesses would have to have customer register. She said,, “To support test and protect businesses in the hospitality sector will be required to take and contact details of customers and store these for four weeks. They should be preparing for that now.”

She also revealed that although bars and restaurants have a indicative date of 15th July, that they would be able to open only on a “limited basis” and they would be subject to condition. These will be contained in detailed guidance which the Government hopes to release as soon as possible.”

Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, said, “This is the announcement that Scotland’s tourism industry has been so eager to hear and will offer huge comfort to thousands of businesses that there is a summer season ahead.  Much of our self-catering sector can start welcoming guests from 3 July – almost two weeks ahead of the now confirmed reopening date of 15th July which is great news.

“Business who can provide outdoor hospitality will also be pleased to have a firm date for opening of 6 July, as will those in the supply chain.

“This unlocks major components of our tourism sector and offers Scots the opportunity to plan summer experiences closer to home and boost our local economies.

He concluded, “We need our employees, visitors and communities to feel safe, reassured, protected and confident. A great deal is at stake – the health of our nation, our economy and indeed the reputation and sustainability of our tourism industry.  There must be a balanced message around unlocking, opening and safety; it is so important that we get this right.”

Indicative Dates

  • 3 July – Travel distance limit for leisure will be lifted
  • 3 July – Self-catering holiday accommodation will be permitted, providing it requires no shared facilities between households
  • 6 July – Outdoor hospitality can commence subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review

Indicative Phase 3 dates:

  • 10 July – People can meet in extended groups outdoors, with physical distancing
  • 10 July – Households can meet indoors with up to a maximum of two households, with physical distancing
  • 13 July – Organised outdoor contact sport can resume for children and young people, subject to guidance
  • 13 July – All dental practices begin to see registered patients for non-aerosol routine care, and work will begin to return aerosol-generating procedures to practice safely
  • 13 July – Increasing capacity within community optometry practices for emergency and essential eye care
  • 13 July – Non-essential shops inside shopping centres can reopen, subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review
  • 15 July – All childcare providers can open subject to individual provider arrangements
  • 15 July – All holiday accommodation will be permitted
  • 15 July – Indoor hospitality can reopen, subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review
  • 15 July – Hairdressers and barbers can reopen with enhanced hygiene measures
  • 15 July – Museums, galleries, cinemas, monuments, libraries will reopen with physical distancing and other measures, such as ticketing in advance.


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