Background music ban lifted from Saturday 12th December

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LICENSED premises will be able to play background music (or sound from televisions) for the first time since August under newly-published Scottish Government guidance.

While the Scottish Government has made no announcement about the decision, an updated version of its Tourism & Hospitality Sector Guidance published this afternoon (10th December) features a new section on background music in venues.

It states that, from Saturday 12th December, venues will be able to play background music “in a COVID safe manner”.

The guidance states that in order to play background music or have televisions on at a low volume, they will have to conduct a risk assessment which involves a “level setting exercise” where staff members gauge an appropriate volume level for their venue.

Premises are only permitted to play background music or sound from a television, but not both at the same time.

The full guidance can be seen here.

The Scottish Government banned background music in August. Last month first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that an advisory group would look at how background music could be reintroduced.

The move has been welcomed by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Scotland, which had lobbied for the music ban to be scrapped.

Chair of NTIA Scotland, Mike Grieve, said: “We are very happy that the Scottish Government has decided to abandon this rule.

“As a group, we have worked incredibly hard to bring attention to this non-logical rule, which has been the ‘kiss of death’ for so many premises.”