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New COVID-19 restrictions

Wed 7 Oct 20

New COVID-19 restrictions will come into force on Friday 9 October until 25 October. These include restrictions on opening hours and selling alcohol across Scotland, with stricter restrictions across some of the central belt.

The Scottish Government has published an evidence paper by the government’s senior clinical advisers on the state of the virus in the country. There is concern about the increase of cases across five health boards in the central belt but it was noted there are marked increases in cases across the country. The paper also said Scotland would return to levels of prevalence seen in March by the end of the month unless action was taken now to interrupt its trajectory.

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the evidence paper had highlighted the risk of transmission posed by hospitality venues, with temporary closures helping to reduce the transmission of the virus between households.

First Minister has introduced new measures to stem the increase in cases and set out further support for businesses. New guidance is yet to be released by our colleagues in government but when it is, we’ll get it to you. For now, here are the key points.

Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley

The following measures were announced in Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley for 16 days from Friday 9 October:

  • All licenced premises apart from hotels to close indoors and outdoors. Hotels to operate for guests only but not permitted to serve alcohol 
  • Cafes which don’t have an alcohol license will be able to stay open until 6pm to support social isolation
  • Snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls will close for two weeks from Saturday 10 October
  • While no travel restrictions have been introduced, people living in these five health boards have been asked to avoid non-essential journeys on public transport

The rest of Scotland

The following restrictions were announced across the rest of Scotland for 16 days from Friday 9 October:

  • Indoor pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will be restricted to opening between 6am and 6pm. Only food and non-alcoholic drinks can be served 
  • Hotel restaurants will be able to operate beyond 6pm but only for residents and without alcohol   
  • Bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can continue to serve alcohol outdoors up to the existing curfew time of 10pm
  • Current regulations and limits of meeting a maximum of six people from two households will still apply
  • Alcohol can continue to be sold at weddings and funerals, where current restrictions on group size still apply

Funding announced

A £40 million fund to support businesses affected by the restrictions, particularly hospitality was also announced. We will add details of this Fund when we get them.

For the rest of the month, businesses could use the furlough scheme and the government would consider how to mitigate their contributions to the scheme.

The government will also:

  • Introduce regulations to extend the use of face coverings in indoor communal areas
  • Ask shops to reintroduce one-way systems and two metre social distancing
  • Undertake a further review of its testing strategy to expand asymptomatic testing
  • Set out a broad strategic framework which would be put before parliament

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