Scotland’s hospitality sector permitted to reopen from 26 April

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The hospitality sector in Scotland will be permitted to start reopening from April 26, if Covid-19 cases continue to decline, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

However, restrictions on the sale of alcohol, curfews and households mixing will remain in place.

Sturgeon yesterday revealed Scotland’s roadmap out of lockdown by saying that this would begin from April 5 when hairdressers and garden centres will be allowed to reopen and the ‘stay at home’ order will be lifted.

The first glimmer of hope for hospitality will be from April 26 when it is expected that all areas under level four restrictions will move down to level three and the sector will start to reopen.

Pubs, cafes and restaurant can open outdoors until 10pm and will be permitted to sell alcohol. Up to six people from three households can meet outside from this date.

Indoor hospitality will also be allowed to reopen, but until 8pm and alcohol will not be allowed. People must meet in groups of up to four people from two households.

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Up to 50 people will be able to attend weddings and funerals and gyms will reopen for individual exercise.

Sturgeon said ‘tourist accommodation’ will also be able to reopen, but failed to clarify if this includes hotels specifically.

A broader easing of restrictions on indoor hospitality is planned for May 17, in line with England, with alcohol sales allowed but social distancing rules in place. The curfew will be extended to 10.30pm and guests will be limited to a two-hour sitting.

The First Minister also indicated that in early June it is hoped that Scotland could move to Level 1 and by end of June to level 0. This would mean hospitality would be be subject to a 11pm curfew and allowed to host groups of six people from up to three households.

The first minister said the government was on track to hit the target of giving a first dose of vaccine to all priority groups – including ‘a significant majority of Scotland’s adult population’ – by mid-April.

She said this would ‘give us confidence to ease restrictions much more significantly from 26 April’.

For more information, please visit the Scottish Government’s timetable for further lockdown easing.

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