Licensing Standards Newsletter - April 2021

Further Easing of Lockdown (as at 23rd April)

The First Minister outlined at her press briefing on Tuesday 20th April the next steps for the easing of lockdown advising that the whole of Scotland will move to Protection Level 3 as of Monday 26th April, and provided there is a continuing downward trend in infection rate, further easing will take place in May and June.

Tourism & Hospitality Sector Guidance - all licensed premises, including drinks led only, may open from 26th April 2021:  

  • outdoor hospitality - alcohol permitted in line with local licensing laws*
  • indoor hospitality – until 20:00 alcohol not permitted; and
  • all previous restrictions and written risk assessment criteria remain as was, prior to current lockdown.

*Argyll and Bute Licensing Board policy for outdoors terminal hour is 22:00 for persons aged 18 years and over and 20:00 for children and young persons.

Test and Protect and Check-in Scotland

Test and Protect - collection of customer and visitor contact detailsthis has been updated and will now include the recording of contact details of all persons in any group entering premises.  Previously only the lead person in any group was required to provide these details.

Check In Scotland - complements Test and Protect and is a way to collect the contact details of people who visit hospitality businesses, such as pub, bars, restaurants and cafes, that's designed to work with NHS Scotland's Test and Protect.  One way of making sure you collect people's details is by displaying a Check In Scotland QR code poster at your venue, and asking anyone who visits to scan this QR code when they arrive.  

Social Distancing

Social distancing and capacity in Hospitality premises draft guidance on how to work out the maximum number of people who can physically distance within a public setting including businesses, places of worship and public events.  In her briefing on Tuesday 20th April, the First Minister reiterated that social distancing guidance had not altered.  The only material change being that there will be a requirement on businesses to display at the entrance to premises the maximum capacity of the premises.

Continuation of Planning Relaxation for Temporary Outdoor Structures

Letter from Minister for Local Government, Housing & Planning advising of the continuation of relaxation of planning regulations for temporary buildings until 30/09/21.

Be Aware! Hand Sanitiser in Pubs Scam

One for licensees and staff to watch out for.  Our local Police Scotland Licensing Department in Dumbarton has received information that there have been instances where people have gone into pubs with hand sanitiser bottles full of alcohol (e.g. gin or whisky), not sanitiser liquid, and have been surreptitiously drinking the alcohol by squirting it into their glass.  As you are aware the consumption of alcohol indoors is not allowed currently and this restriction will continue when we move to protection level 3 on 26th April.

Environmental Health

Our Environmental Health team leads the Council’s response to Covid 19 and continues to seek the co-operation of business and the public by remembering the following:

Test & Protect the statutory requirement on businesses to take the details of customers;

Protect Scotland App – businesses urged to promote the app in the collection of details;

Face Coverings– are required by staff and customers.

Other Covid 19 Guidance and Assistance

Health & Safety Executive – short video on requirement for Covid-19 Risk Assessments for business premises

Food Standards Scotland – risk assessment for food businesses

Visit Scotland Advice– current information for the Tourism and Hospitality sector

Ready Scotland - stay safe, get help, and help others during COVID-19

Covid 19- help and assistance from Argyll and Bute Council

Other Local Information

Personal Licence refresher training and mandatory 10 year renewals

Personal licence accredited trainers

Licensing Board - meetings during 2021


You can contact licensing standards or the Licensing Board team for further information.


The Licensing Standards service does not provide legal advice or opinion and the above information should not be considered such.  Any legal advice or opinion on licensing matters should be obtained from a licensing solicitor.