Lockdown rules for pubs in Scotland explained as thousands are ordered to close


A fresh set of lockdown rules in Scotland will see much of the country’s night-time economy come to a shuddering halt in a matter of days.

From Friday, new, harsher, restrictions will affect millions of Scots in their everyday lives.

At 6pm that day, many of the nation’s pubs will be severely restricted on what they can sell while others will not be allowed to open at all.

Hotels and B&Bs across Scotland will remain open, meaning families can still set off for October half-term breaks.

No other travel restrictions have been announced.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the drastic changes in the Scottish Parliament as part of an emergency coronavirus response.

“Let me be clear. We are not going back into lockdown today,” she told MSPs.

However, she warned that “without action”, Scotland could return to levels of coronavirus seen in the Spring “by the end of the month”.

Central Scotland

A waitress wears a mask as she provides table service to customers in a pub
Pubs in five parts of central Scotland will not be able to open for more than two weeks

Pubs in Greater Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Forth Valley and Lothian will close at 6pm on Friday.

The earliest they can reopen is Monday October 26.

They can continue to operate as takeaways, similar to the rules imposed in March when lockdown was first introduced.

Unlicensed cafes and restaurants that don’t sell alcohol can remain open but must close at 6pm.

Shops, schools, colleges and universities will remain open, but people in Scotland’s central belt have been asked to only use public transport in the next two weeks if it’s absolutely necessary.

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This includes travelling to work, school or any other unavoidable reason.

Nicola Sturgeon also urged those living in these areas to not travel beyond their own health boards.

Rest of Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon speaking in the Scottish Parliament
Nicola Sturgeon says the new coronavirus rules are not a return to full lockdown

For those living in the rest of Scotland, pubs, bars and licensed restaurants will be able to keep serving customers indoors until 6pm, but not sell alcohol.

Businesses can serve alcohol outdoors until 10pm.

These restrictions will also start at 6pm on Friday, and are currently due to end after Sunday October 25.

The First Minister also announced that face coverings will become mandatory in Scotland, while in the coming weeks the Scottish Government will expand these regulations.

This includes mandatory face coverings in places such as canteens and workplace corridors.

The two-metre social distancing rule will also return to shops, which had previously been allowed to reduce the distance to one metre to allow for more customers.





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