Two-week ban on alcohol in pubs, restaurants and cafes announced by First Minister
A two-week ban on serving alcohol indoors in pubs, restaurants and cafes across Scotland has been announced by the First Minister.
There will be even tighter restrictions across the Central Belt, where licensed premises must close altogether, both indoors and outdoors.
Food and drink premises will be subject to a curfew throughout the two-week period.
From 6pm on Friday, bars, restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to serve food and non-alcoholic drinks and they must close at 6pm.
Hotel restaurants can be open for longer hours but only to serve guests and they are also banned from serving alcohol.
Outdoor bars, restaurants and cafes not in the Central Belt will be allowed to remain open until 10pm and will be allowed to sell alcohol.
In the area covered by the Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley health boards, bars and licensed restaurants cannot open at all for the two-week period, although takeaways will still be allowed and hotels can serve food to guests.
Cafes in the Central Belt that do not have an alcohol licence will be allowed to open from 6am to 6pm as elsewhere in Scotland.
“The reason we are not closing indoor hospitality completely is that we know the benefits, in terms of reducing loneliness and isolation, of giving people – particularly those who live alone – somewhere they can meet a friend for a coffee and a chat,” Nicola Sturgeon said.
The restrictions will be in place for 16 days from Friday 9 October at 6pm to Sunday 25 October.
There will be an exemption to the rules in all parts of Scotland for celebrations associated with events such as weddings and funerals, where the current rules will continue to apply.
The First Minister promised £40m of support from the Scottish Government to help affected businesses during the period of closure.
Other restrictions were also announced in the five health board areas across the Central Belt.
Snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls will close and contact sports will be suspended for people aged 18 and over, with the exception of professional sports.
Indoor group exercise activities will not be allowed, but gyms can remain open for individual exercise.
Sturgeon said there would be no travel ban in any of the areas, but people in the Central Belt should avoid public transport unless it was “absolutely necessary” and they are advised not to travel outside their own health board area if they do not need to.
Across Scotland shops are to return to two-metre physical distancing and reintroduce one-way systems from this weekend.