Scottish Government says if a premises “does not have the facilities to provide the definition of a ‘main meal’ then they are required to close”
Updated FAQs published on Friday night say a main meal “would typically be something more than a mere snack – such as a plated meal, usually (though not necessarily) eaten with cutlery”
WET-led pubs and bars in level two and three areas which “do not have the facilities to provide a main meal” will be able to remain closed in order to access the full Job Support Scheme and larger Scottish Government support grants.
The Scottish Government confirmed on Friday, October 30 that, when the new COVID-19 levels take effect on Monday (November 2), “wet-led” premises should remain closed.
A Scottish Government spokesman told SLTN on Friday: “We have made provision in the regulations to mandate the closing of wet-led pubs so as to allow them to access support for closed premises.”
An updated FAQ section of the Scottish Government’s Tourism & Hospitality Sector Guidance published just before 8pm on Friday evening said that if a premises “does not have the facilities to provide the definition of a ‘main meal’ then they are required to close by law in levels two and three and can access the appropriate support for closed premises”.
SLTN has gone to the Scottish Government for further clarity on the definition of a “wet-led” pub under the regulations.
The FAQ section later said in order to provide a “main meal” a premises will have “to have this activity (or “restaurant facilities”) within the operating plan of your premises licence”.
“Your business premises would also have to be currently registered as a food business under the Food Hygiene Act 1990, and have appropriate certificates in place to cover kitchen or food preparation facilities,” reads the FAQ.
“You would also have to have staff with the appropriate skills and training to provide this service.”
A main meal is described in the section as “something more than a mere snack – such as a plated meal, usually (though not necessarily) eaten with cutlery, and could include a substantial filled sandwich or panini served with a side such as salad or chips, or a “soup and a sandwich” style meal, as well as other more substantial meals which may have more than one course”.
Businesses told by government to close can apply for a grant of £2000 or £3000 every four weeks, depending on whether their rateable value is under or above £51,000.
They will also qualify for the Job Support Scheme (Closed), under which the UK Government will pay two thirds of employee wages for the duration of the closure.
As of Monday, November 2, 27 local authority areas will be under either level 2 (eight areas) or level three (19 areas) restrictions.
In level two, premises can sell alcohol indoors but only with a main meal. In level three the sale of alcohol is prohibited.
The closure of wet-led premises was included in regulations laid before the Scottish Parliament on Friday afternoon.