Licensing Standards Newsletter July 2020

We have updated the Special Newsletter issued on 6th July.

The Scottish Government has continued further easing of lockdown measures by allowing licensed premises with outdoor areas such as beer gardens and pavement cafes to re-open as of Monday 6th July and indoor areas from 15th July.  This newsletter will concentrate on the advice being provided by the Government and others and responsibilities placed on licensees, staff and customers at this time.

Coronavirus - Guidance available

Coronavirus – Outdoor Spaces & Planning Applications

The Chief Planner and the Minister for Local Government have issued guidance on the relaxation of certain planning requirements in relation to the licensing of outdoor spaces to aid business during the pandemic.

Coronavirus – Definition of indoors

Further Coronavirus regulations were issued which have implications for the use of coverings (such as marquees) in outdoor areas. It has been confirmed that the so-called “50% Rule” will apply – this is lifted from the Prohibition of Smoking in Certain Premises (Scotland) Regulations 2006 and means that at least 50% of the area must be open to be treated as outdoors for the purposes of the coronavirus regulations allowing beer gardens etc. to open from 6 July 2020. This can be a tricky area of law to navigate and we urge operators to take advice as soon as possible.

Coronavirus – Use of indoors spaces and relaxation of social distancing

The Scottish Government has made clear that 2 metre distancing will remain the norm with 1 metre permitted where additional mitigation measures are in place. The following examples of mitigation measures have been given by the Scottish Government:  

  • No standing – all customers seated;
  • Face coverings by staff;
  • Clear systems for safe ordering and payments;
  • Clear systems for safe use of toilet facilities;
  • Use of screens between seating areas;
  • Good ventilation;
  • Good signage;
  • Reduced noise measures e.g. no background music, to reduce need for customers to shout; and
  • Clear messaging on need to provide contact details to support Test & Protect.


Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) – safe re-opening of businesses


The safe re-opening of small and micro businesses following the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is being supported by new guidance.  The publication provides practical advice for employers on the steps they need to take before and after re-opening.  Access the Scottish Government guidance.


That’s it for now

Do you need more information?  Contact us.      

Legal Advice

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.