Level zero ended at midnight in Scotland with almost all of the Covid restrictions lifted meaning no social distancing in hospitality but customers must still wear masks when moving around, while test and protect details must also still be captured. Nightclubs were allowed to reopen last night and nightclubbers will not have to wear masks while dancing, according to the latest Scottish government guidance, as new rules published on Friday said that face coverings can be removed while dancing, drinking and dining.
It followed calls from the industry bodies like NTIA (Night Time Industries Association) Scotland for clarity as confusion followed the first minister’s update lastTuesday, when Nicola Sturgeon announced that almost all of Scotland’s remaining covid-19 restrictions would end.
On Wednesday, Scotland’s national clinical director Prof Jason Leitch confirmed that vertical drinking at the bar would be allowed in pubs from next week. But earlier in the day, deputy first minister John Swinney had given a different answer about vertical drinking, leading to the Scottish Conservatives accusing the government of confusion and inconsistency.
Said Gavin Stevenson Vice Chairperson NTIA Scotland, “After 18 long months of brutal restrictions that have pushed the hospitality sector to the brink of disaster, there is finally a chance for businesses to trade in a manner which offers them a chance of survival.
“Some of the remaining baseline measures beyond Level 0 are problematic for the sector and place Scottish businesses at a disadvantage to their English counterparts, so we seek further clarity from Scottish Government on when the baseline measures will finally be removed, in order for businesses to return to full viability.”
“In the meantime it is urgent that Scottish government engages with the sector to develop a package of further support to ensure Scottish businesses survive the coming winter, particularly given we have already had to endure far tougher and longer restrictions than our counterparts in England, with less government support to do so.”
Said Donald Macleod, MD Holdfast Ents & CPL, who chose not to open his Glasgow clubs The Cathouse and The Garage last night preferring to wait and digest the guidelines to make his clubs as safe as possible for both customers and staff, said, “After a tumultuous, and exasperating week, one in which the “beyond level zero announcement ” left the industry unnecessarily confused, wondering where in a premises mask should be worn and drinks consumed.
“I am now happy that the government have consulted with the NTIA and other industry trade bodies and listened to our concerns, and we can now plan ahead for reopening with a degree of confidence and surety.”