16th August 2020

Environment Coronavirus: FM urges pub-goers not to ‘drop their guard’

Environment Coronavirus: FM urges pub-goers not to ‘drop their guard’


environment Two of the first customers to be served at The Scotsman's Lounge pub in Edinburgh

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Two of the first customers to be served at The Scotsman’s Lounge pub in Edinburgh earlier in the week

The first minister has warned people not to drop their guard as Scotland heads into the first weekend of pubs and restaurants being open indoors.

Nicola Sturgeon said the nation’s “collective sacrifices” had helped get the virus under control and urged Scots to “keep it up”.

The reopening of indoor spaces requires anti-virus precautions to be in place.

Customers will also be asked to provide their name and a phone number, as part of the NHS Test and Protect scheme.

Scottish pubs were able to open their beer gardens last weekend, but this is the first weekend since the Covid-19 lockdown began in March that they have been able to allow customers inside.

Reflecting on the latest coronavirus figures, Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “Another day yesterday with no deaths registered of people with confirmed #COVID.

“My thanks to everyone across [Scotland] – our collective sacrifices have helped get this virus under control. Please keep it up. Let’s not drop our guard now.”

Colin Wilkins, from the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, said he was confident that pubs and bars could provide the right environment for people to enjoy a safe visit.

But he told BBC Scotland that customers should be aware of the new regulations when using pubs.

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Colin Wilkins said it was possible to provide a safe environment for pub customers

“We work in a very heavily-regulated industry anyway so we’re used to dealing with customers,” he said.

“Customers have their part to play as well and we’re asking those that do visit our pubs to bear with us and comply with the necessary restrictions that are now in place.

“Certainly visits to our pubs will be different, but everything that can be done will be done to ensure that a visit to the pub is as enjoyable as it was before.”

Mr Wilkins also urged pubs and bars to gather customers’ contact details as requested by the Scottish government, saying there should be “no confusion” over whether this needed to be done.

“The test and protect is the one thing that’s going to help us, because the last thing we want is a spike coming back now that the industry’s back up and opening,” he added.


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