First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has introduced strict new Coronavirus restrictions for the hospitality sector in Scotland.
Among the new restrictions, which will be effective from 6pm on Friday, indoor public venues will not be allowed to serve alcohol for over two weeks.
Ms Sturgeon said that the new measures do not represent a lockdown and that measures must be introduced to avoid cases return to the levels seen in March.
The First Minister also stressed that schools, colleges and universities will not be closed by the new measures.
Ms Sturgeon said that the new restrictions were based on evidence. Speaking to MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, Sturgeon said;
“The evidence paper that has been published from the chief medical officer looks at the evidence we are putting forward for these restrictions.
“It is not hospitality’s fault. Nobody should point the finger at hospitality. Test and protect sees where people have been – pubs and bars are somewhere where people could have caught it in places with sometimes poor ventilation and where people are mixing.”
The restrictions will be kept under review and an additional £40m in funding will be made available to businesses which are impacted by the new restrictions.
What are the new restrictions in Scotland?
From 6pm on Friday, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to open indoor spaces in Scotland between 6am-6pm and they will not be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages.
In some parts of Scotland including Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley, pubs and licenced cafes must close to all but takeaway customers from 6pm on Friday. People in these areas should also avoid using public transport unless necessary.
The new restrictions are intended to end after Sunday 25 October.
Plans have also been announced to ask shops to return to a two-metre physical distancing (rather than one metre) and to mandate the use of face coverings in indoor communal settings in Scotland in the coming weeks.
What is not affected?
Outdoor bars and restaurants can continue to sell alcohol and remain open until 10pm each evening.
There will be no mandatory travel restrictions, gyms will be able to stay open and schools and universities can also remain open.
Where key life events such as weddings and funerals have already been booked, they will be exempt from the new restrictions.