Scottish government clarifies ‘vertical drinking' will be permitted from Monday

04 August 2021 by
Scottish government clarifies ‘vertical drinking' will be permitted from Monday

Vertical drinking, or drinking while standing up in a hospitality venue, will be permitted in Scotland from Monday, the Scottish government has said.

Colin Wilkinson, managing director of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA), attended a meeting today with the government and other industry groups at which officials provided clarity following comments by deputy first minister John Swinney on BBC Radio Scotland this morning, in which he said it might not be allowed.

Wilkinson said: "It is absolutely crucial to have this clarified, although we are still waiting for the finer detail on this and other questions. However, we thank the Scottish government for their time today and hope that further information is forthcoming before Monday. Mr Swinney's comments were both unhelpful and misinformed."

Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) Scotland director Joe Crawford had previously highlighted concerns that this would continue to limit the capacity of smaller, community pubs.

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 announced yesterday.

Almost all remaining coronavirus restrictions will be dropped and nightclubs will be able to reopen for the first time since 2020, while pubs and restaurants can increase capacity due to a relaxing of rules around physical distancing and sizes of social gatherings.

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 was still considering the "limited use" of Covid passports in "higher-risk venues".

Photo: Jeff Whyte/

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