Scotland begins to reopen hospitality venues

Scotland: As of 15 July 2020, hospitality venues in Scotland are allowed to reopen providing that mitigations are met.

Bars, restaurants, cinemas, tourist attractions, hairdressers and barbers, places of worship and childcare centres can now all reopen.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that it’s “the biggest step so far” since the country entered lockdown March 23. 

The reopening of indoor space will require strict health and safety measures in place, including physical distancing restrictions and taking customer contact details.

As part of the NHS Test and Protect scheme, the data is “absolutely crucial” in helping to build public and staff confidence as premises reopen. Sturgeon explained: “If you’re not prepared to provide your contact details, my message to you is pretty blunt – don’t go to these places.” 

In an announcement made at Holyrood last week, Sturgeon said: “Just as with indoor household meetings, opening up indoor hospitality poses significantly increased risks of transmission. So it is essential that the guidance on health and safety is followed rigorously, by businesses, staff and customers.”

Commenting on the reopening, Ricky Kapoor, managing director at The Edinburgh Collection, said: “Whilst we are truly celebrating the end of Scotland’s hospitality lockdown today, we approach our new found freedom with a little trepidation. The early indicators are that key sectors of our business such as corporate and international travel will not be returning anytime soon, and the events market also faces a very slow return. That said, with our diverse portfolio of properties, we are very well placed to cater to the domestic business we know is coming.

“The Old Waverley Hotel opening on Monday 20 sits in the very heart of the city opposite Waverley Station, and her sister property, Haymarket Hub Hotel (opening 8 August), also boasts an impressive location. Perfectly suited to the new environment of social distancing, our two serviced apartment properties offer families and individual travellers the chance to spread out in a range of apartments from studios to three-beds. Holyrood Aparthotel, just off the Royal Mile opens 8 August and Princes Street Suites, at the east end of our most famous thoroughfare opens tomorrow!”

Also implemented today is the UK Chancellor’s VAT cut on food, accommodation and attractions from 20 per cent to five per cent. The scheme will be in place until 12 January.

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