Advice for businesses opening during COVID-19

The key differences in Scottish Government COVID-19 levels

Edinburgh is in Level 3 of government protections. The new framework of measures introduced by the Scottish Government will impact businesses in Edinburgh differently depending on the level at which the city is placed. Below are some of the key differences businesses need to be aware of on all five levels.

Level 4

This would result in the toughest restrictions on the framework. In this category, all hospitality venues (except for takeaways), non-essential retail, cinemas, leisure facilities such as gyms, libraries and close contact businesses such as hairdressers must close.

Level 3

Level 3 means cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars can open for both outdoor and indoor hospitality. Such venues can open indoor until 8pm without alcohol and can operate outdoor with alcohol in line with licensing rules. Non-essential retail premises can open, however leisure and entertainment venues such as cinemas must remain closed. Gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise. Tourist accommodation can reopen with self-catering accommodation to be operated in line with rules on indoor gatherings.

Level 2

In level 2, licensed hospitality premises can serve alcohol indoors to customers until 10.30pm with customers offered two-hour slots. Cinemas, bingo halls and amusement arcades will be permitted to open. Premises such as softplay, funfairs, bowling alleys and nightclubs must remain closed.

Level 1

In level 1, hospitality premises such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars can serve alcohol indoors until 11pm. The majority of leisure and entertainment premises will be able to operate, in line with physical distancing guidelines. Premises such as nightclubs and adult entertainment premises will must to remain closed.

Level 0

A move to level zero would see businesses able to operate ‘almost normally.’ Hospitality premises would be able to serve alcohol indoors and outdoors as per their licence. They must keep in line with physical distancing measures and mitigations in place, such as limited capacity. As with level 1, most leisure and entertainment premises can operate, except for nightclubs and adult entertainment premises which must remain closed.