Coronavirus guidance for the tourism and hospitality sectors

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

The Scottish Government has created guidance for the tourism and hospitality industries in Scotland on how to operate safely. This was updated on 7 October 2020: 

Nationwide (excepting central belt areas):

  • Hospitality (food and drink): all premises may only open indoors between 6am and 6pm, with no sales of alcohol
  • Hospitality (food and drink): premises may remain open outdoors until 10pm, with sales of alcohol (where licensed)
  • Takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants) can continue
  • Evening meals may be served in accommodation for residents only but no alcohol can be served
  • Alcohol sales are permitted as part of room service within licensed accommodation
  • Current meeting rules, maximum of six people from two households, continue to apply
  • Specific life events, such as weddings and funerals, may continue with alcohol being served, with current meeting rules for these events (20 person limit in regulated premises only)

Central belt area focusing on five health board areas (Ayrshire & Arran; Forth Valley; Greater Glasgow & Clyde; Lanarkshire; Lothian):

  • All licensed premises will be required to close, with the exception of takeaway services and licensed cafes 
  • Cafes will be able to stay open until 6pm each day. If it is a licensed cafe, they cannot sell alcohol.
  • Takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants) can continue
  • Evening meals may be served in accommodation for residents only but no alcohol can be served
  • Specific life events, such as weddings and funerals, may continue with alcohol, with current meeting rules for these events (20 person limit in regulated premises only)
  • No group exercise classes for indoor gyms and sports courts, pools with an exemption for under 18s
  • No adult (18+) contact sports or training, except professional sports, indoor or outdoor
  • No outdoor live events
  • Snooker/pool halls, indoor bowling, casinos and bingo halls are to close
  • Public transport use should be minimised as much as possible, such as for education and work, where it cannot be done from home
  • Current meeting rules, maximum of six people from two households, continue to apply

Additionally, shops across Scotland are asked to return to two metres physical distancing and reintroduce the mitigations they put in place earlier in the pandemic, including one-way systems.

In addition, under the current regulations, hospitality businesses must

  • control noise and loud behaviour
  • manage queues
  • collect customer contact details
  • ensure face coverings are worn by customers and staff
  • enforce limits to households mixing – maximum 6 people from 2 households
  • ensure all customers are seated
  • introduce table service to ensure there are no standing areas
  • maintain physical distancing
  • have a robust cleaning regime

Police Scotland and local authorities have powers to enforce the restrictions on businesses, services and workplaces imposed by the Regulations.

The full guidance for the tourism and hospitality industries in Scotland includes information on:

  • carrying out a coronavirus risk assessment in consultation with employee or trade union safety representatives
  • workforce management and well-being
  • checklists of health and safety considerations for staff and customers (tailored for tourism businesses of different sizes)
  • staff training and compliance
  • collecting customer contact details
    • there is also a sample privacy notice businesses can use
  • tools and resources to help businesses

Read the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on recent changes. 

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

Tourism and hospitality businesses in Scotland, including:

  • all accommodation providers (hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, caravan/holiday parks, etc.)
  • visitor attractions
  • marine and adventure tourism
  • other activity or experience tourism operations/centres
  • tour operators
  • pubs and restaurants
  • retail aspects of tourism
  • natural spaces used for tourism, such as the National Parks

Note that funfairs must currently remain closed.

How long does this take?

It will take around an hour and a half to read the guidance in full. However, it has been broken up into sections for ease of reference. 

Important information

This guidance will be reviewed every three weeks as part of the wider review of coronavirus restrictions.

Next steps

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information and to read the full guidance.

Support provided by Scottish Government

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