Council highlights new requirements and provides advice and support following further Covid restrictions on the hospitality industry

The Scottish Government announced further temporary measures on the 7th October that will apply to many businesses within the hospitality (food and drink) sector. As this sector is such an important sector within the Highlands, the Council considers it important to highlight the main requirements of the temporary measures. These measures are planned to last for 16 days starting for licensed premises at 18:00 on Friday 9 October and at 00:01 Saturday 10 October for all other restrictions. They will run until Sunday 25 October inclusive. The temporary measures can be summarised as follows: -

  • Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes may only open indoors between 6am and 6pm, with no sales of alcohol
  • Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes may open outdoors until 10pm, with sales of alcohol (where licensed)
  • Takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants) can continue
  • Evening meals may be served in accommodation for residents only, but no alcohol can be served
  • Current meeting rules, maximum of six people from two households, continue to apply
  • Specific life events, such as weddings and funerals, may continue with alcohol being served, with current meeting rules for these events (20-person limit in regulated premises only)

To assist businesses with implementing and interpreting the new requirements, updated Covid 19 guidance has been published by the Scottish Government for the Tourism and Hospitality Sector. This includes Frequently Asked Questions which provides a useful interpretation of the most common queries about the new additional measures. The guidance is available from the Scottish Government website – - For further advice please email

Alan Yates, The Highland Council’s Environmental Health Manager said: “Our Services are very conscious of the challenges faced by businesses within the hospitality sector at the moment and are very grateful for the cooperation and compliance shown in recent months by the vast majority of businesses within the Highlands.  These additional measures will be undoubtedly be very difficult for businesses, but we would urge them to refer to the updated guidance that has now been published and review their current arrangements to ensure fully compliant. Equally we would ask members of the public to play their part and follow all the public health advice when visiting business premises.

“If businesses and the public follow all the public health advice, then this will be the best way to help tackle the Covid 19 pandemic. Our Environmental Health team will be continuing to conduct visits to premises throughout the Highlands over the coming weeks in order to monitor compliance with the new measures, and working with partners in Police Scotland. This will be to predominantly provide support and advice to business premises, however, in a small minority of premises where evidence of non-compliance is are identified then appropriate enforcement action will be taken. Should any business wish further advice on compliance with the new additional measures being imposed we would encourage you to contact our Environmental Health team.”



9 Oct 2020
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