Last night the Scottish Government issued updated guidance for the Hospitality and Tourism Sector on a number of areas including the use of amusement and gaming machines, pool tables and queue management. Guidance on outdoor live events is still to be confirmed.
Amusements and gaming machines, pool tables etc
Facilities like fruit machines and pool tables are permitted from 24 August but must be risk assessed. They should be subject to robust cleaning procedures, ensure physical distancing can be observed and are not located in thoroughfares. Procedures and customer communications should ensure that no crowding can result from the use of these facilities and that noise levels are kept low with no shouting. Customers using pool tables should be encouraged to wear face coverings as this is a requirement in snooker and pool halls. Darts may be played if there is a dedicated space for play away from thoroughfares i.e. separate room, and where there is adequate space to ensure physical distancing along with risk assessed robust cleaning procedures, with no sharing of darts. Where this is not possible then it will be necessary to refrain from darts play at this time. Dominoes is not possible at this time. Proximity of players and the need for sharing of game pieces makes this activity too high risk. Please refer to additional guidance for sectors like amusement arcades and snooker and pool halls for additional information.
Pubs and bars should not be organising any sort of games nights at present. The limits on households mixing still applies and this arrangement would breach those rules by bringing groups of people together.
There is an increased risk that physical distancing will not be observed in queues in a hospitality setting, particularly during evenings, and that this can lead to people crowding together, which must be avoided. Except for take-away services and cafeteria/food service settings, such as buffet service, where queueing must be managed with physical distancing, there should be no queueing inside premises, such as at bars, and systems should be in place to ensure this does not happen. Ordering may still take place at designated points which have been risk assessed, where physical distancing is observed and where queues do not result from the process i.e. systems in place to ensure only one person can approach at any time.
Steps should be taken to avoid queues outside the premises as much as possible but where unavoidable for safety reasons, measures should be taken to ensure physical distancing. Exceptions would include small businesses such as cafes providing takeaway services or where numbers of customers turn up simultaneously and need to be held in line for a short period of time until they can be safely checked in. Holding people in line generally to wait for others to leave and make space is not a valid reason. Businesses who already have strong measures in place to manage external queues with physical distancing should retain these for when they may be needed for safety reasons.
Outdoor live events
The updated guidance doesn’t cover this issue as it will be dealt with in the specific guidance, subject to final confirmation. However, the position at present appears to be that these are quite specific events and do not extend to outdoor hospitality areas in general, for example beer gardens.
Further Measures under consideration
Scottish Government Ministers are also considering further measures to control the spread of the virus and is exploring other options to avoid risky behaviours and practices such as:-
- Measures to limit the number of premises visited in one day – customers are already being advised against pub crawl activity in revised customer guidance.
- Entry cut-off points – businesses may restrict entry to premises after a certain time to limit late evening transit between premises.
- Face coverings within premises for customers when not eating or drinking i.e. arrival/departure and when using shared facilities.
These will be kept under review and further update guidance will be produced if necessary.
To view the full updated Tourism and Hospitality Sector Guidance click here.