Advice for businesses opening during COVID-19

Licensed premises

From 9 August, physical distancing restrictions and the limits on the size of social gatherings have been removed. The requirement to operate using table service and two-hour time slots for customers has also been removed. However, to help reduce transmission risks and protect staff and customers, it is strongly encouraged to continue to operate with the use of table service, where possible. Additionally, hospitality premises are no longer required to close at specific times, with licensed premises able to operate as per the times of their licence.

The requirement to collect customer contact details currently remains in place in order to assist with the Test and Protect system.

Wearing masks and face coverings

Face coverings must be worn at all times indoors. The regulations provide a number of exemptions for example children under 12 or individuals with health conditions. In a hospitality setting, customers may remove their mask for the purposes of eating or drinking.  Customers need not be seated to eat or drink.

The regulations also provide an exemption for exercise which would include dancing. Unless eating, drinking or dancing or being seated at a table. For example, a face covering must be worn when moving around, queuing at the bar, entering or leaving or going to the toilet. This is a legal requirement.

Nightclubs and softplay premises

Softplay centres and nightclub premises are now permitted to open

COVID restrictions are reviewed by the Scottish Government on a regular basis. For guidance on COVID-19 for tourism and hospitality sectors visit the Scottish Government website.

Ensuring compliance with the new rules

Our Regulatory Officers will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the new rules while they are in place. Our officers will also be able to advise and support your business to ensure you can operate safely and compliantly, when appropriate.

To speak to a Regulatory Officer and get advice for your business, you can email us at

[email protected] 

Refusal to close

If necessary, both Council officers and Police Scotland have enforcement powers to require you to close. This could then be escalated to a prosecution report, and a subsequent Premises Licence review.

Guidance from the Scottish Government

You can find COVID-19 guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector on the Scottish Government website.