Licensed trade and hospitality update: what did today’s announcement mean?

Further to the First Minister’s announcement today, there is a huge amount of speculation as to what areas are actually affected.  The First Minister referred to health board areas as opposed to Council areas, which has caused some confusion.

For clarity on the health board areas referred to, see below.

The restrictions have been introduced as of Friday 9th October 2020 at 6pm and will be in place till Sunday 25th October.  This is for 16 days, across two weeks and three weekends.

Apart from the five health board areas of: Greater Glasgow and Clyde; Lanarkshire; Ayrshire & Arran; Lothian; and Forth Valley; premises are allowed to open with some restrictions.

Outwith the five health board areas mentioned above, all pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes may serve food and non-alcoholic drinks inside from 6am to 6pm. These premises may also sell and supply alcohol in outside areas up until the current curfew of 10pm.  Whether inside or outside, provision of alcohol remains subject to the 6:2 rule on group size (a maximum of 6 people from a maximum of 2 households).

Hotels outside of the five health board areas referred to may also remain open after 6pm indoors but only for residents and may not serve alcohol after 6pm.

These rules do not apply to “life” events, such as weddings and funerals which are already booked.

Cafes without a licence which permits sale and supply of alcohol may stay open to 6pm – this applies regardless of their health board areas.

Within the five health board areas referred to, snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls will all close from 10th October until 25th October inclusive.  Contact sports, except professional sports, indoor group exercise activities and outdoor live events are not allowed.  Under 18’s are still able to participate in indoor group exercise activities in these areas per the guidance.  Gyms will be able to remain open within areas for individual exercise.

People living within these areas are being asked to avoid public transport unless necessary – “necessary” was referred to by the First Minister as being for work or school, or similar.  While the First Minister said she is not asking people to cancel half term breaks she did say that people living within the five areas should not travel out of those areas unless they need to do so and others should not travel into those areas unless they need to do so.  There are, however, no mandatory travel restrictions.

Regulations are being put in place to extend face coverings in certain indoor settings such as shops, work corridors and similar.  Shops are also being asked to return to a 2 metre physical distance with a one-way system in place.  In addition, the testing strategy is being reviewed and a strategic plan is being finalised to consider how to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic going forward in Scotland.

If you are still confused about what a health board area means, see below – click on the links to see maps of Greater Glasgow & Clyde; Lanarkshire; Ayrshire & Arran; Lothian; and Forth Valley.

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde – covers a substantial area taking in West Dunbartonshire, East Dunbartonshire, Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Council areas.  Click here for a map which shoes who is covered by this area.  It is the largest health board in the UK providing health services to over 1.2 million people and employing around 38,000 staff. Click here for a map to see the areas covered.

NHS Lanarkshire – covers North and South Lanarkshire Council areas.  It is the third largest health board in Scotland serving a population of 655,000 people employing around 12,000 staff.  Click here to see a map for more detail.

NHS Ayrshire & Arran – covers North Ayrshire. South Ayrshire and East Ayrshire.  It covers almost 400,000 people in its area and has over 8,500 staff working between hospitals and in the community.  Click here for a map to see the areas covered.

NHS Forth Valley – has a population of over 306,000 people and employees around 8,000 staff.  It covers Falkirk, Clackmannanshire and Stirling Council areas.  Click here for a map to see the areas covered.

NHS Lothian – covers West Lothian, East Lothian, Mid-Lothian and City of Edinburgh.  It has the second largest residential population in Scotland being around 800,000 people and employees 24,000 staff.  Click here for a map to check if you are in this area.

If you would like further information on the topic discussed in this article, please contact Joanna Millar by email: or by phone: 0141 370 8116 / 07747 653 417. You can also view Joanna’s profile by clicking here.

The information and opinions contained in this blog are for information only. They are not intended to constitute advice and should not be relied upon or considered as a replacement for advice. Before acting on any of the information contained in this blog, please seek specific advice from Gilson Gray.

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