Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that we will not move from Phase 3 to Phase 4 but announced a number of changes to the Phase 3 lockdown restrictions. Speaking in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, she said; “On balance, taking account of the different harms that Covid and the restrictions imposed to tackle it are inflicting on the country, we have decided that the re-openings pencilled in for 24 August can proceed.”
From Monday, the following will be permitted:
The First Minister also said;
“Finally, we are able to offer the indicative restart date of 14th September for a range of settings and activities, including indoor entertainment venues such as theatres (with restricted capacity), the limited reopening of stadia (with restricted numbers), a wider range of outdoor events such as concerts with standing audiences and the resumption of indoor contact sports for adults and young people – all subject to appropriate guidance.”
Regarding the hospitality industry, Ms Sturgeon said; “In recent weeks we have seen how the virus can exploit weaknesses in our compliance and how quickly it can then take hold. It is clear that a common factor in many outbreaks of the virus is indoor hospitality and social gatherings indoors. We have had to re-impose local restrictions in Aberdeen, and may need to do the same in other places across Scotland in response to future outbreaks. To help us to avoid the need for this, we intend to introduce some additional, enforceable regulations that will address some of the most significant transmission risks that have been a factor in recent outbreaks.
To help our hospitality sector to remain open while doing everything we can to prevent future outbreaks we have already made it mandatory for a range of settings, including hospitality businesses, to collect customer details and introduced statutory guidance for the hospitality sector to improve safety.”
The First Minister also confirmed that extra powers will be given to local authorities to ensure that government guidance is being implemented within the sector.
“For the indoor hospitality sector, I am grateful to the many pubs, restaurants and cafés who have opened responsibly – and who have gone to great lengths to stick to the rules and guidance on ventilation, hygiene, face coverings, contact details and physical distancing. Their efforts are hugely appreciated. However we also know that not all hospitality businesses have implemented the guidance effectively. We therefore intend to strengthen the power of local authorities to act in these circumstances.
The Scottish Government has powers under emergency legislation to issue directions in respect of a class of premises – for example, directions to close all pubs in a particular postcode. We intend to give local authorities the power to act in respect of individual, specific premises that are breaching guidelines and risking transmission of the virus.
This power would enable local authorities either to close such premises – or to impose conditions on the remaining open – where they deem that is necessary for the purpose of preventing, protecting against, or controlling the spread of infection. We believe this is an important – indeed a vital – but also a proportionate step, which will help local authorities ensure businesses stick to the guidelines and that action can be taken where these guidelines are being breached.”
You can download the updated route map announced today here.