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SLTA News And Updates 7th August

SLTA News and Updates 7th August

Collection of customers details to be made mandatory and new statutory guidance for indoor hospitality venues to be introduced.

As part of the First Minister’s briefing today, Nicola Sturgeon said:-

“The situation in Aberdeen is extremely challenging.  And our focus is on getting it under control.

At the same time, we want to learn the lessons of this outbreak.  We have seen similar outbreaks in countries around the world. And it’s clear that a common factor in many of them is a link to hospitality.

We’ve always known that settings such as pubs and bars are particularly susceptible to the spread of this virus.  That’s why we held back the reopening of hospitality until a later phase.  It’s also why we staggered the reopening of hospitality – with outdoor venues opening first. 

We’ve also got clear guidance for the hospitality sector on how it could operate safely.  Among other things, the guidance set out important advice on things like physical distancing, cleaning and hygiene arrangements, and the collection of customer details.  

Now, it’s very clear many businesses have complied very strictly with those kinds of measures, and I’ve very grateful to them for that.  However, we also know there are some where that has not been the case.  

The Scottish Government is determined to do everything we can to prevent further outbreaks.  And we want to ensure that our hospitality sector can continue to remain open.

That’s why today I’m announcing two further measures.

The first is that we now intend to make it mandatory for a range of settings, including hospitality businesses, to collect customer details.

That requirement already exists in guidance, but we are now placing it on a statutory footing.    And it should help to ensure that our Test and Protect system can function as effectively as possible.

Second, we intend to issue new statutory guidance relating to indoor hospitality.  We’ll set out more detail on this next week, but the aim is to ensure greater compliance with some of the key public health measures – such as physical distancing.   And we will work closely with Police Scotland and local environmental health teams to explain these measures – and if necessary, enforce compliance.

Both these changes will take affect from next Friday.  And they will help to clarify exactly what is required of the hospitality industry. 

However, I want to be emphasise that businesses should already be doing these things.  So if you’re not – don’t wait till next week, start complying now.

Premises should be collecting and keeping contact details.

Wherever possible, people should pre-book tables in advance and there should be no queueing. 

People should be seated, with table service.

Customers should not be standing together to watch football, dancing, or queuing at the bar. 

There should be no queueing outside either. If it is unavoidable for any reason, those in queues should be physically distanced.  

And there should be no background music – or volume from the TV.  We don’t want people having to shout or lean in to each other in order to be heard.

Our hospitality businesses obviously have a vital role to play in making premises safe. 

But as I said yesterday, we are all the first line of defence against this virus. So please think about your own actions.

No more than three households should be meeting together in places like bars and restaurants at any one time.   People from different households should be staying physically distant from each other at all times.”

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