Diageo has announced plans for a phased reopening of its Scotch whisky tourist attractions with comprehensive new measures to build community and visitor confidence, with Blair Athol Distillery reopening for tours from today.
The company’s network of 12 Scotch whisky distillery brand homes across Scotland have been closed throughout the COVID-19 lockdown and now, in line with Scottish Government guidance, Diageo plans to gradually begin welcoming back visitors.
The phased reopening schedule for distillery tours will be as follows:
- Monday 27thJuly: Blair Athol Distillery visitor experiences reopen for tours.
- Wednesday 29thJuly: Oban Distillery visitor experiences reopen for tours.
- Monday 3rdAugust: Cardhu Distillery, Dalwhinnie Distillery, Singleton of Glen Ord Distilleryand Royal Lochnagar Distillery reopen retail spaces and limited whisky masterclasses
- Monday 10thAugust: Cardhu Distillery, Dalwhinnie Distillery, Singleton of Glen Ord Distilleryand Royal Lochnagar Distillery reopen full distillery visitor experience or tours.
- Date TBC later in August: No date has been set for the reopening of Caol Ila DistilleryandLagavulin Distillery on Islay and Talisker Distilleryon the Isle of Skye. These will be subject to future announcements depending on local circumstances in these island communities. Cragganmore Distilleryin Speyside will also open at a later date.
- Date TBC later in 2020: Diageo’s final two brand homes at Glenkinchie Distillery and Clynelish Distillery– which are currently under major refurbishment as part of the company’s investment in whisky tourism – will also remain closed until the construction projects are complete later this year.
The distilleries have introduced mandatory temperature checks for all visitors, limiting the number of visitors on site, screens in all retail units, ensuring physical distancing throughout, increased cleaning procedures and hand sanitiser stations.
Barbara Smith, Managing Director of Diageo’s Brand Homes, said, “We are pleased that the time has finally come to reopen the doors of our distilleries in Scotland again so that people can once again enjoy the magic of Scotch whisky.
“We have put in place comprehensive measures to make our distilleries as welcoming and safe as possible and we are taking a gradual approach to reopening so we can build the confidence of our people, visitors and communities.”