Scotland is to move beyond its Level 0 Covid-19 measure, meaning that all hospitality venues will legally be allowed to reopen from 9 August.
Some protective measures will stay in place such as the use of face coverings indoors and the collection of contact details as part of the country’s Test and Protect regime. Capacity limits of 2000 people indoors and 5000 people outdoors will also remain in place although some exceptions may be possible on a case-by-case basis.
“This change is significant and it is hard-earned. The sacrifices everyone has made over the past year and a half can never be overstated. However, while this move will restore a substantial degree of normality, it is important to be clear that it does not signal the end of the pandemic or a return to life exactly as we knew it before Covid struck,” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.
In response to the announcement, UKHospitality Scotland executive director Leon Thompson said “Some of our businesses can, at long last, reopen their doors and welcome back customers. Many more can begin to look at increasing capacity with the end of physical distancing.
“However, it is not clear yet how the mandatory wearing of face coverings might continue to impact on venues where customers are likely to be standing, including in pubs and nightclubs. Businesses need more detail, along with a complete set of guidance from the Scottish Government - and they need it quickly.”