Nicola Sturgeon warns of 'real issues' with return of beer gardens

Nicola Sturgeon has warned there may be "real issues" with Coronavirus transmission in beer gardens after their return in Scotland was delayed.

Nicola Sturgeon has warned of real issues with beer gardens
Nicola Sturgeon has warned of real issues with beer gardens

The First Minister pointed out that pubs and beer gardens also remain closed in England as she addressed her daily Coronavirus briefing today.

Pub Industry chiefs reacted with "bitter disappointment" after Ms Sturgeon revealed yesterday that beer gardens would not be allowed to reopen in the initial stages of phase 2 of lockdown exit as had been originally planned.

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It followed new evidence which suggests outdoor spaces in pubs, restaurants and cafes may be "super spreaders" of the virus.

"Pubs aren't open in England either - including beer gardens," Ms Sturgeon said.

"There's no date being given for them reopening in England yet either. So Scotland is not somehow an outlier here.

"The fact that other parts of the UK have still also not given a date for opening beer gardens suggests that there are perhaps real issues at heart that we're all trying to think through."

Ms Sturgeon has now ordered further work by scientific experts into the emerging evidence that outdoor hospitality areas could be hotspots for the spread of the virus. It will report back by July 2 in advance of the scheduled reopening of the tourism industry, including bars and restaurants, on July 15.

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