Scottish hospitality says having to evict football fans mid-game during Euros would put staff at risk

07 June 2021 by
Scottish hospitality says having to evict football fans mid-game during Euros would put staff at risk

Forcing pubs to evict football fans mid-game during the Euros will put staff at risk of violence, the Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG) has warned with only a few days to go until the tournament kicks off.

Most of the central belt remains in level two, which means bars and restaurants can stay open and serve alcohol until 10.30pm, while in level one they can stay open until 11pm. With the potential for levels to be changed at very short notice, SHG is calling on the Scottish government to introduce flexibility for closing times and to allow local authorities to decide when last orders will be.

Stephen Montgomery, spokesperson for SHG, said: "We saw in the Europa League final that the game went on to extra time and then 22 penalties. If the Scottish government doesn't give some flexibility to the current rules, we could end up in a situation where people can watch the group stages, but when it comes to the knockout round, hospitality staff are going to be forced to ask fans to leave right in the middle.

"I'd like to see the officials and ministers who came up with these rules try to enforce them. Hospitality staff have taken enough punishment over the last year and they should not be forced to then ruin someone's evening and potentially face a backlash. And you can easily see how trouble could start on the streets, meaning the police get called, which is a complete waste of their time.

"All that needs to happen is to tweak the rules so that people can finish their drink and watch the end of the game. It's as simple as that – and it should be up to local authorities to decide what time pubs and restaurants in their patch close.

"Everyone deserves a bit of fun and relaxation after what we've been through, especially since it's Scotland's first major tournament in a generation. Much better to do that in a safe, well-run pub with lots of public health measures, than have people in uncontrolled gatherings at home or the large, mass gatherings we saw across Glasgow last month."

The Scottish Hospitality Group comprises restaurant and bar businesses including the DRG Group, Buzzworks Holdings, Signature Pubs, Montpeliers, Manorview Group, Lisini Pub Co, the Townhead Hotel Lockerbie and Mor-Rioghain Group.

Photo: Dean Drobot/

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