No change to physical distancing rules, says FM

Nicola Sturgeon confirms partial reopening of hospitality to go ahead on Monday 26th April

PHYSICAL distancing requirements for hospitality venues set to reopen will be the same as those in place for the last reopening, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Speaking today (20th April) to confirm the partial reopening of hospitality will go ahead from Monday (26th April), Sturgeon said: “Contrary to some suggestions that you might have seen in the media, the requirements on physical distancing for hospitality in our latest guidance on this have not changed from the guidance that was in place previously.”

It comes after the Scottish Government published draft guidance on calculating COVID Physical Distance Based Capacity (PDBC) in non-domestic settings last Thursday (15th April). The draft guidance included examples for calculating maximum capacity in hospitality premises, which, like the previous reopening, will be allowed to operate with one-metre physical distancing subject to additional mitigations. The draft guidance sparked anger amongst some in the trade over the space and size of table which would be required in order to accommodate six people from six households – the maximum that can meet outdoors under level three.

Sturgeon said the only change this time is that operators should display the capacity at the entrance.

The first minister also reiterated that hospitality businesses should take contact details for every customer (rather than a ‘lead’ customer for each group) for Test & Protect. The Scottish Government has today published updated guidance on this.

Sturgeon confirmed that the whole of Scotland will move to level three on Monday (26th April) and the partial reopening of hospitality will go ahead, meaning venues can open indoors until 8pm without the sale of alcohol, and can serve alcohol outdoors. She also said that travel restrictions will be lifted on 26th April, enabling travel across Scotland and to and from England and Wales. And she said the Scottish Government is advising anyone travelling to any of Scotland’s islands to take two lateral flow COVID tests before travelling.

Sturgeon said she hopes all of Scotland can move to level two on 17th May, to level one on 7th June and to level zero at the end of June before returning to “something more like normality” during July.