Pub quizzes are ok, and background music too – the ‘mitigations’ have been published


New guidance just published by the Scottish Government sets out the mitigations that are necessary for pubs, bars, hotels and restaurants, to open with 1-metre social distancing and background music and quizzes are still on the table, but there is to be no standing at the bar.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed last week that hospitality businesses would be exempt from the  2-metre rule and could move to 1-metre social distancing if they adopted “added mitigations’ when they re-open from 15th July.

These ‘mitigations’ have now been put in place – they were initially drafted last week but the updated mitigations have now been published.

There’s are no ban on quizzes or sport but the guidance clearly states that “any operator should consider whether it is sensible/fits in with their risk assessment.”

There will be no standing at bar areas/all customers require to be seated.  The guidance says “standing areas around bars can become crowded spaces making even 1m physical distancing difficult and should be avoided. Physical distancing is easier to achieve at pre-arranged seating areas.”

It also falls short of making face mask mandatory for staff admitting, “While face coverings for customers is not practical in an eating and drinking environment, they should – where necessary – be made available for staff to afford them and others added protection, such as in front-of-house roles.”

With regard to background music (and there were fears this would be banned) the government has also taken a more measured view.  It now suggests licensees consider if the noise level would cause the raising of voices’ and if it does to turn it down.The guidance advises, “The level and volume of music and other background noise, such as live sports on TV or around games tables, is a key consideration and steps should be taken to ensure volume levels do not present a risk to staff and customers.

On signage the guidance states, “It is important that clear signage is displayed at entry points and throughout the premises to inform customers that they are within a 1m physical distancing zone. A simple notice that states that “this is a 1-metre physical distancing zone – follow the advice of staff and observe physical distancing”

The guidance also acknowledges that not all of the measures will be relevant in every setting and that it is for individual businesses to consider where they do relate to their specific business and reflect this in their risk assessments.

See the full guidance here:

Scottish Government guidance