The First Minister (FM) has announced further coronavirus measures and also additional resources for additional Environmental Health Officers at her coronavirus (COVID-19) update speech on 22 September 2020.
The FM stated that the Scottish Government will be providing resources for additional Environmental Health Officers in order for local authorities to significantly step up inspection and enforcement in the hospitality trade to ensure compliance with rules in the sector.
Further measures to protect the population from the spread of COVID-19 were also announced by the First Minister as Scotland faces an upsurge in cases.
The new restrictions focus on no household visits and a 10pm closing time for all hospitality settings.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that this action is necessary in order to prevent a resurgence in community transmission of the virus and the potential for a rapid return to the pressures the NHS experienced earlier in the year.
Inside people’s homes
- Do not meet people from any other households in your home or another person’s home socially, unless they are in your extended household
- These rules also apply to children
- Children whose parents do not live in the same household can move between homes, as can non-cohabiting couples
- Very limited exemptions apply for childcare, and for tradespeople
Private gardens or public outdoors spaces
- A maximum of six people from two households can meet in outdoor spaces
- You should limit as far as possible the total number of households you meet in a day
- Under-12s do not count towards the maximum number of households or number of people who can meet outdoors. Under-12s do not have to physically distance
- A maximum of six 12 to 17 year olds can meet in outdoor spaces, with no household limit. Physical distancing is still required
Indoors in public spaces
- A maximum of six people from two households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants
- Children under 12 from those two households do not count towards the limits
- From 00:01 Friday 25 September, pubs, restaurants and all hospitality settings will be required to close at 10pm
- Table service will continue to be required in all hospitality premises
- You should only car share with members of your own, or extended, household, and follow guidance when there is no alternative
- You must continue to work from home where practicable
These restrictions will be reviewed within three weeks and further guidance will made available where necessary.
The First Minister said:
“It is worth stressing that because of the collective sacrifices we all made to drive infection levels down over the summer, the growth in cases is from a low base and – at this stage – far less rapid than in March. I want to thank the people of Scotland for their cooperation, forbearance and the sacrifices they have made – but these measures are essential in ensuring we do not let this virus get out of control again.
“While these measures are tough, we believe they can make a significant difference while keeping our schools, public services and as many businesses open as far as possible.
“Early data suggests that restrictions currently in place in west central Scotland are starting to slow the increase of cases. So by extending household restrictions nationwide now, in an early and preventative way, we hope it will help to bring the R number down and the virus back under control.
On hospitality measures, the First Minister said:
“I want to thank those businesses that are making huge efforts to ensure compliance. However, I want to be clear with the hospitality trade about this. Notwithstanding the economic implications, further restrictions – including possible closure – will be unavoidable if the rules within pubs and restaurants on hygiene, face coverings, maximum numbers in groups, and the distance between them are not fully complied with.”