All Scottish hospitality to reopen 9 August but vaccine passports not ruled out

03 August 2021 by
All Scottish hospitality to reopen 9 August but vaccine passports not ruled out

All hospitality venues in Scotland will be legally allowed to reopen from 9 August, but the use of Covid passports has not been ruled out, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

From next Monday almost all remaining coronavirus restrictions will be dropped when Scotland moves beyond its current Level 0.

It means nightclubs can open for the first time since 2020 and pubs and restaurants can increase capacity due to a relaxing of rules around physical distancing and sizes of social gatherings.

Fully-vaccinated close contacts of someone who tests positive will no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days if they record a negative PCR test.

However, hospitality venues will still be required to take customer's contact details and facemasks must be worn in certain indoor settings.

Sturgeon said the Scottish government is still considering the "limited use" of Covid passports in "higher-risk venues". An app making it easier to access vaccination details for international travel will launch next month and will also support their use in domestic settings.

"We do not underestimate the ethical, equity and human rights issues associated with Covid-status certification and we will keep members updated on our status on this issue," Sturgeon said.

UKHospitality Scotland executive director Leon Thompson said the possibility of Covid passports was "sobering" and called on ministers to work with hospitality to help its recovery.

"The Scottish Government needs to work with us to identify ways to build the resilience of the sector," he said.

"After almost 18 months of closure and restricted opening, businesses are carrying unprecedented amounts of short-term debt – much of it due for payment now. After coming this far these viable businesses must not be allowed to fall at the last hurdle."

The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) said over 200 pubs that had remained closed due to restrictions will now be able to reopen.

Around 285 Scottish pubs are estimated to have permanently closed since the start of the pandemic and the SBPA warned more government support was needed.

"Consumer confidence also remains fragile, meaning it is vital that we get the recovery phase right," said SBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin.

"The ongoing requirement for face coverings and collection of customer contact information will have a small impact which must be recognised by government.

"Our businesses are faced with a range of pressing challenges, including staffing issues and supply chain pressures, which will require the government to continue to work closely with us to support recovery. With the correct support, the sector can be at the forefront of Scotland's economic recovery, creating jobs and reviving our towns and cities."

Image: Edinburghcitymom/

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