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Clarity on physical distancing within hospitality premises

Wed 21 Apr 21

The First Minister confirmed that there is no change to physical distancing within hospitality premises, stating at today's briefing; “Contrary to some suggestions that you might have seen in the media, the requirements on physical distancing for hospitality in our latest guidance on this have not changed from the guidance that was in place previously.”

The Scottish Tourism Alliance along with colleagues at the Scottish Beer and Pub Association, UKHospitality and the SLTA have been seeking clarity around the guidance which was published last week.  The summary below, scribed by the Scottish Beer and Pub Association has been acknowledged as a clear and concise reflection of the guidance for the sector which is hoped will remove any doubt or concern.

Calculating Physical Distance Based Capacity (PDBC) in hospitality settings
Social distancing rules for hospitality premises have not changed since the sector was allowed to reopen in 2020. The sector is allowed to operate at 1-metre instead of 2-metre as an acknowledgment that they are unviable as businesses if 2-metres is maintained. 
Premises must now however signpost their ‘maximum capacity’ by displaying this alongside signage indicating that customers are ‘entering a 1m zone’. The capacity will likely be the same as identified in premise risk assessments last year. 
This could be calculated in the following way: 
Once all tables are laid out (maximum 6 to a table, not including children) in line with requirements, operators should calculate the number of customers which can be seated. This figure then becomes the Physical Distance Based Capacity (PDBC) and is displayed at entrances. It is likely, that when parties with more than one household are in a venue, that the capacity would be reduced but this does not require the PDBC be updated. 
Due to some misinformation circulating in the press, it is important to note: 
  • There are no rules on table sizes. 
  • Social distancing rules for hospitality remain as they were last year
  • Groups from different households can sit at the same table but should be socially distanced from those in other households.  
Operators should read the guidance for the sector available here.

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