New statutory guidance for the hospitality sector in Scotland announced on Friday, including making collecting customer contact details mandatory, has been welcomed by the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA), which said some businesses had been breaking the rules.
From 14 August it will be compulsory for hospitality operators to collect contact details for Test and Protect purposes and to take table reservations "where possible" to eliminate queuing.
There should be no background music and televisions should be muted to reduce the need for people to shout or lean into each other. In addition, no more than three households at a time are allowed to meet in a group.
Paul Waterston of the SLTA, which represents all sectors of the licensed trade in Scotland, told The Caterer that it had been calling for stricter rules for a while, especially around Track and Protect, following feedback that suggested some premises had not been compliant.
He said: "The last thing we need is another spike. Like all these things the responsible operators are doing it anyway and we need to make sure everyone will be able to do it.
"The main thing here is not to put us in a position where there is another lockdown – we're in a fragile position here. Scotland has done really well and we've got to keep up the good work and try to stamp the virus out."
He added that there had been calls from local council to bring some of the new rules and regulations through the Licencing Act in order to help police it more efficiently, explaining that such a move would help eradicate inconsistencies across the 40 different licensing boards.
Commenting on last week's Covid-19 outbreak in Aberdeen, which resulted in pubs and restaurants in the city being forced to close, the first minister said: "To say that the incident in Aberdeen is deeply regrettable is an understatement.
"But it underlines an extremely important point: any time one of us fails to abide by the rules, we put others at risk and give this virus the chance to come roaring back.
Friday's announcement coincides with the publication of the Scottish Covid-19 Workbook and ‘Sector Advice Cards' that detail how different sectors can take action to prevent the spread of the virus and avoid, report and manage outbreaks.
Image: Scottish Government