Are beer gardens open in Scotland? Date pubs and restaurants open outdoor spaces as government eases lockdown rules

Pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen from 15 July – but are beer gardens now open?

Thousands of pubs and restaurants across Scotland had been hoping for the green light to restart trading after the Scottish Government published its “route map” out of lockdown.

Pubs and restaurants are set to reopen on 15 July, but are beer gardens now open?

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces a date for outdoor hospitality, including beer gardens, to reopen (Photo: Shutterstock)

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When will beer gardens be allowed to open?

Outdoor hospitality areas, including beer gardens, reopened on Monday 6 July. However, businesses in the hospitality sector are required to record the names and contact details of customers, and store these for four weeks. Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, advised that pubs and restaurants should be preparing for this requirement now, ahead of opening.

What safety measures could be put into place when pubs do reopen?

Popular pub chain JD Wetherspoon announced in May that it will invest an initial £11 million in order to ensure that its staff and customers will be safeguarded when its pubs reopen.

Safety measures including screens will be installed at tills and at seating areas where it is not possible to separate tables as per current social distancing guidelines.

Stickers and signage will also be put up around the pubs in order to remind pub goers of the two metre social distancing rule.

Nicola Sturgeon also reminded the Scottish public that they must continue to comply with the two metre rule until further notice. Face coverings are now required to be worn when travelling on public transport and will become mandatory in shops from 10 July.

What else is now in place in phase 2?

Retail premises of all sizes (deemed essential or otherwise) are now able to reopen, but only if they have outdoor entrances and exits.

Indoor shopping centres will remain closed, except for access to essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacists.

Outdoor markets are now open, alongside outdoor playgrounds and outdoor sports courts.

Outdoor businesses including zoos and garden attractions are also now open.

Dentists are also open again, but this is initially for urgent care.

People from one household can also meet outdoors with people from up to two other households from 19 June. You can meet these two households together or separately and it doesn’t always have to be the same households, but the First Minister explained that it should be no more than two at a time and no more than two in a day.

The Government is still advising no more than eight people in any group.

Those who are shielding, unless they live in a nursing or residential care home, are now able to go outdoors for exercise, and those who are shielding can meet outdoors with people from one other household, but in groups of no more than eight.

From 3 July, the five mile travel rule (which encourages the public not travel further than five miles from home for leisure purposes) no longer applies and self-contained holiday lodgings (such as cottages with no shared facilities) are now open.

What will change in phase 3?

According to Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland should move into Phase 3 of lockdown easing on Thursday 9 July. Again, the First Minister stressed that this plan may be subject to change, depending on advice from health experts and scientists.

From 10 July, households will be permitted to meet more people outdoors, with physical distancing measures in place. From the same date, a household will be permitted to meet indoors with up to two other households, provided social distancing and hygiene measures are being observed.

Organised sport for children and young people should resume from 13 July. On that date, non-essential shops in indoor shopping centres will also be permitted to open again.

Early learning and childcare services will likely resume on 15 July, according to the current government plan.

Also on 15 July, tourism and all holiday accommodation can reopen. This includes museums, galleries, libraries and similar indoor locations reopen. However, live event venues, such as theatres and nightclubs, will not be permitted to open their doors at this stage.

All being well, pubs and restaurants should be able to open indoors on a limited basis from 15 July, as is the case for hairdressers and barbers. Other personal beauty services will not recommence trading on that date.