Scotland’s national clinical director has said that from Monday, face coverings will not need to be worn on dance floors.
In a radio interview posted on Twitter, Jason Leitch said that while he would advise people to avoid crowds and be cautious in indoor social settings, that rules will be relaxed.
It follows confusion over the rules on ‘vertical drinking’, with the deputy first minister saying in an interview on BBC Radio Scotland that people could order drinks at a bar “but not stand there and drink it”.
In an interview with Bauer Media, Leitch said: “We’ve engaged with those night time industries throughout the day today and clarified that when you’re standing or sitting, eating or drinking, there is an exemption from wearing a face covering
“So that means, strictly speaking, you can drink at the bar.”
On Tuesday, the First Minister announced that nightclubs would be allowed to reopen on August 9 for the first time in more than a year.
However venues were left confused over the lack of clarity over the issue of wearing face masks.
Leitch added: “You will not need to wear a face covering on a dance floor and you won’t need to wear a face covering if you’re drinking at the bar.
“I would still ask you to be cautious and careful, particularly in groups indoors where you are drinking at the bar.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We are encouraging the hospitality sector to consider retaining safety measures that are currently in place to help protect the public and staff.
“While wearing of face masks is not required while eating or drinking (whether seated or standing), in order to avoid crowding in hospitality venues it may be sensible to keep measures such as table service or operate a queuing system.”
She added: “We are currently engaging with the nightclub sector on guidance to ensure they can safely reopen on 9 August. It is due to be published in the coming days.”