When will pubs, bars and restaurants reopen in Scotland? Date hospitality may reopen in lockdown roadmap

Nicola Sturgeon revealed Scotland’s route map out of lockdown – confirming dates for reopening the economy

Nicola Sturgeon has announced Scotland’s roadmap out of lockdown, including the initial phases of reopening the economy.

On 23 February, she gave provisional dates for when hospitality could open, as well as non-essential shops, gyms and hairdressers.

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This is what the First Minister said about the roadmap and when hospitality may be able to resume.

Pubs could reopen in Scotland in spring, though a roadmap out of lockdown has yet to be announced (Picture: Getty Images)
Pubs could reopen in Scotland in spring, though a roadmap out of lockdown has yet to be announced (Picture: Getty Images)

What is the route map out of lockdown?

the First Minister unveiled a “revised strategic framework” in the form of four phases, which detailed how restrictions will be gradually lifted in the country.

It follows Boris Johnson's announcement on Monday of England’s roadmap out of lockdown, with a four-step exit strategy to reopen the country starting on 8 March.

Sturgeon announced the reopening of the economy from 26 April, including shops, hospitality, gyms and hairdressers, as well as detailing a return to the levels system that was in place before the lockdown.

When could pubs and restaurants reopen?

The First Minister has stated that hospitality could resume from 26 April, should data suggest infection rates are continuing to fall and phase one of the vaccination programme be completed successfully.

Schools in Scotland have already started going back in a phased return between 22 February and 15 March and visitation in care homes, as well as places of worship reopening will also be included in phase one.

Following this, a number of other non-essential services will resume from 26 April.

Addressing the parliament, Sturgeon said: “From the last week of April, we would expect to see phased but significant re-opening of the economy, including non essential retail, hospitality and services like gyms and hairdressers.”

At present, restaurants and pubs are legally forced to remain shut and as of 18 January, no alcoholic beverages can be served via takeaway and collections of food cannot take place inside premises. Deliveries are still permitted.

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When can we expect tiered lockdowns to end?

Sturgeon has stated that hospitality settings will return to a revised tier three approach, in the initial stages of the lockdown easing plan.

She has not outlined when Covid restrictions will lift completely, adding that “some trade offs” would need to take place to allow the economy to reopen while keeping the virus suppressed.

She said: “We will set out more detail in mid March on the indicators that will guide our decisions on levels, as well as on any revision to the content of each level - taking account of our experience and of sectoral views - and the order in which we expect those parts of the economy that have been restricted to start reopening from the last week of April.”

What rules could be in place when hospitality reopens?

It has not yet been confirmed what the modifications to each tier will be, but it is likely some of the previous tier three rules will be reintroduced in the initial reopening phase.

This could include one or two-metre distancing between groups, a cap on the number of people per table in restaurants, cafes and pubs and maximum capacity for venues.

In addition, face coverings may be required when using shared spaces such as toilets, as well entering and exiting venues.

Table service could also be a requirement and track and trace will persist.