New restrictions on pubs and restaurants to come into force

Pubs and restaurants in the central belt will be forced to close from 6pm on Friday.

New restrictions on pubs and restaurants to come into force Getty Images

New restrictions which see pubs and restaurants across the central belt close for more than two weeks will come into effect on Friday.

Nicola Sturgeon announced restrictions on the hospitality industry on Wednesday as coronavirus cases in the country continue to grow.

All pubs, restaurants and cafes in Scotland must close their indoor premises from 6pm on Friday and will be barred from selling alcohol indoors.

Scotland-wide, indoor hospitality venues will only be allowed to operate between 6am and 6pm daily, selling food and non-alcoholic drinks only.

Outdoor bars, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to remain open up until 10pm and will be allowed to sell alcohol up to that time.

However licensed premises in five central health board areas – Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lothian, Lanarkshire, Forth Valley and Ayrshire and Arran – will be shut altogether.

The First Minister told MSPs the restrictions are intended to last for 16 days, ending after October 25.

It follows a surge in cases of coronavirus in Scotland, with five deaths and 1027 cases reported on Thursday. 

Hospitality leaders have condemned the restrictions, saying they signal a “death sentence” for the industry.

An additional £40m in crisis funding will be made available to businesses impacted by the new restrictions, which the government aim to target at those most in need.

On Thursday the First Minister clarified that cafes with alcohol licences will be allowed to stay open, permitting they do not sell alcohol.

Other restrictions include a ban on serving alcohol in hotels, however evening meals will be permitted for those staying on the premises. 

Weddings and funerals can continue to take place with alcohol being served, with up to 20 guests in regulated premises.

However in the five central belt health board areas, a ban on group exercise classes for indoor gyms, sports courts and pools will come into effect.

Over 18s cannot participate in contact sports or training, except professional sports and no live events are allowed to take place.

Snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling, casinos and bingo halls are also set to close.

People living in the central belt have been asked to avoid public transport unless absolutely necessary in the next two weeks, however Scots are not facing formal travel restrictions.

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