Licensing Standards Newsletter - September 2020

Introduction – structure of Newsletter

Priority will be given to ongoing information from Scottish Government and other sources in relation to roles and responsibilities in monitoring and suppressing Covid-19.  As the situation continues to be fast moving, each briefing should not be considered a definitive guide to every aspect of the information available.  The Newsletter will continue to be published monthly but will be supplemented as necessary where new guidance or information becomes available.

Coronavirus – Scottish Government latest guidance

As we move through Scotland’s route-map, guidance is having to be regularly reviewed and updated. It remains a gradual process and while the hospitality sector has made significant progress to date with reopening outdoor and indoor areas, and with reduced physical distancing to 1m, it is not yet business as usual. A high level of caution and awareness is essential in order to avoid any set-backs. Government does not want to keep restrictions in place a moment longer than is necessary, but safety must come first. Businesses are therefore requested to maintain the excellent work that has been undertaken so far and to continue working with authorities to build on that progress.

On 24nd September The Scottish Government updated its Tourism and Hospitality Sector Guidance.  This update, among other things, requires pubs, restaurants and all hospitality settings to close between 10:00pm and 5:00am; the continuation of table service in all hospitality premises; and the stepping up of inspection and enforcement by local authorities.  The Guidance is in Question & Answer format. 

The Scottish Government has now put this Guidance on a legal footing meaning there can be penalties if the Guidance is not adhered to.

Please Remember –

  1. Test & Protect - continue to record customer contact details (as of 14 August this is a mandatory requirement – see updated guidance);
  2. Test & Protect - encourage staff and customers to download the Protect Scotland App;
  3. Face Coverings - public facing, front of house staff, and customers (when not eating or drinking within premises) are required to wear face coverings unless they meet the specific exemptions.

Environmental Health – Local Guidance

With the easing of lockdown, there has been a rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 and a number of outbreaks where there have been links to commercial premises, including the Aberdeen City outbreak which led to  lockdown of licensed and hospitality sectors. It is important to recognise that rural areas are not immune and within Argyll and Bute, we have had positive cases and a number of outbreaks.

There is a potential that your premises may be linked to a case or outbreak because the case has visited your premises; or there are close contacts who work within your business; or there may have been a failure in the business COVID measures. This highlights the need for everyone to be extra vigilant in ensuring that your COVID measures are in place and are constantly reviewed and updated. In managing cases and outbreaks, the importance of being able to access accurate customer details and information from business is critical, and please assure yourself that your own systems are robust.

Further advice can be obtained from our Environmental Health team on 01546-605519 or by e-mailing

Coronavirus – other guidance

UK Hospitality Scotland 

Food Standards Scotland risk assessment tool

Shopping, drinking and eating out   

FACTS [video]

How is furlough changing? [BBC News]

Argyll and Bute Council assistance

Coronavirus – Directions by Local Authorities Legislation

As of 28th August, The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Directions by Local Authorities) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 provide for a local authority to give directions relating to specified premises, events and public outdoor places in its area in relation to preventing, protecting against, controlling or providing a public health response to the incidence or spread of infection by coronavirus in the local authority’s area, and that the prohibitions, requirements or restrictions imposed by the direction are a proportionate means of achieving that purpose.  Those directions may include – restrictions on individual premises  (including closure); on events; and on outdoor spaces, with failure to abide by such directions being an offence.

Coronavirus – Business Interruption Claims

The High Court has now handed down judgment in the eagerly awaited test case brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) against 8 insurers to determine whether policyholders can make business interruption claims for losses arising from disruption and closure of their businesses caused by Covid-19.  Further information can be found on the TLT Solicitors website.

Coronavirus – Online Personal Licence Training

Highfield Training are providing their Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence holder Training courses online and are offering examination using remote invigilation.  All that is required is a smartphone, a laptop with a camera and photographic identification. The online course is ideal for those with basic computing skills wanting to apply for a Personal Licence or to refresh or renew their existing Personal Licence.  More information, including contact details, here.  

Three local trainers have advised that they too are providing online training – Christine Roberts at; Lynn Nicholson at, and Morag Beattie at  

Other local information 

Licensing Board Dates 2020

Personal Licence Refresher Training and Mandatory 10 Year Renewals

Personal licence accredited trainers

Contact Licensing Standards and Licensing Board team

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.