Licensing Standards Special Newsletter - 6 July 2020

Guidance for Tourism & Hospitality and Events Sectors

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.  This short 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 be the norm with 1 metre permitted where additional mitigations are in place. These mitigations will be consulted on and agreed with the industry ahead of phase 3. But, to allow the industry to start to plan ahead, the following examples of mitigation measures have been have been provided:

  • 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. 

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.