Ban on Western Isles pubs serving alcohol indoors under new Covid-19 restrictions
New measures to try to prevent the spread of coronavirus will mean pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes in the Western Isles will only be able to serve alcohol in outdoor settings.
Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will be able to open indoors until 6pm, but only to serve food and non-alcoholic drinks.
Hotel restaurants will be able to operate beyond 6pm, but only for residents and without alcohol.
Outdoors, in settings such as beer gardens, they will be able to serve alcohol until 10pm, with the current rules on no more than six people from two households remaining in place.
The measures are intended to be in force for 16 days, from Friday at 6pm to Sunday October 25 inclusive.
Announcing the measures in the Scottish Parliament today, First Minsiter Nicola Sturgeon said: “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.
“But the restrictions will be strictly applied. And all the current regulations and the limits on meeting a maximum of six people from two households will still apply.”
She added: “Bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can continue to serve alcohol outdoors up to the existing curfew time of 10pm, and subject to the 6/2 rule on group size.
“There will be an exemption to these rules – in all parts of Scotland – for celebrations associated with specific life events such as weddings that are already booked and funerals. The current rules for those will continue to apply.”
Existing restrictions, such as not meeting people from other households in each other’s homes, also remain in force.
Tougher restrictions will apply across the central belt of the mainland – in the five health board areas of Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley – where all licensed premises, indoors and outdoors, will be required to close.
Ms Sturgeon said that an additional £40 million will be made available to support businesses that will be affected by these measures over the next two weeks.
She said the Government would work with the affected sectors – especially hospitality – in the coming days to ensure that this money provides the most help, to those who most need it.