No background music or TV volume, Sturgeon says

Scottish Government is working with industry to assess whether a “more nuanced” level might be possible going forward

pub interior

THERE should be no background music – or volume from a television – in pubs and restaurants from today (Friday August 14), first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Speaking at lunchtime today, Sturgeon outlined a number of statutory guidance measures for hospitality businesses, including “no background music or volume from TVs” to prevent customers raising their voices or leaning in to hear each other. She said the Scottish Government is working with the licensed trade “to see if it might be possible to agree a more nuanced position based on an acceptable decibel level”, but said “in the meantime the rule is there should be no background music in pubs and restaurants”.

The statutory guidance states: “Where customers start to shout or sing this should be challenged. Clear signage can help with messaging to inform customers of expected standards of behaviour.”

Other measures outlined in the statutory guidance include no indoor queuing; measures to avoid queues outside premises but, where unavoidable, measures in place to ensure physical distancing; and customers seated and table service provided.

“By making the guidance statutory – so that premises must take account of it – we are aiming to ensure greater compliance with the guidelines,” said Sturgeon.

She reiterated that it is mandatory from today for all hospitality businesses to take contact details of everyone who comes into their premises for NHS Scotland’s Test & Protect scheme.

Sturgeon also confirmed the Scottish Government is publishing new guidance for consumers visiting pubs and restaurants, saying everyone has to play their part; and said she is “asking customers to minimise the number of premises they visit in one day”.

See full statutory guidance here: