Covid-19 – Regulations
On Monday November 2 a new five-tier system of restrictions was introduced across each of Scotland's local authority areas. Levels (0-4) are be based on the prevalence of the virus. This is reviewed regularly.
Following a review by the Scottish Government on December 8 Aberdeen remains in Level 2, however this will be closely monitored and may change ahead of the next national government review which is to take place on December 15.
Aberdeen City Council aims to revise its COVID-19 web pages as quickly as possible in response to government updates.
You may contact us if you have any questions
If you have concerns about a business in Aberdeen or want advice on what you can or can not do please contact us using our online form.
Level 2 restrictions
- Restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bars can open indoors for the consumption of food and non-alcoholic drinks. Alcoholic drinks can only be served with the purchase of a main meal. Last entry is 19:00 and all venues must be closed and all customers off the premises by 20:00. The hospitality sector should follow: sector guidance for tourism and hospitality.
- Restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bars can open outdoors for the consumption of food and alcoholic drinks. Last entry is 21:30 and all venues must be closed and all customers off the premises by 22:30. Any outdoor structures, such as marquees, must have at least 50% of their sides open.
- Customers must provide their contact details in case contact tracers need to reach them. They must wear face coverings while moving around and when not eating or drinking. Customer-facing staff must also wear face coverings, and there must only be table service.
- Takeaways services (including those from pubs and restaurants) can continue to operate.
- The existing rules which state that a maximum of six people from two households can meet in hospitality venues, either indoors or outdoors still apply.
- Hotels and other accommodation providers can still serve food to guests staying on their premises up to 22:00. Room service, including alcohol, is allowed as normal.
- Alcohol can still be served inside at wedding receptions and funerals (indoor hospitality must close at 20:00). These events are limited to a maximum of 20 people.
For more information on what is meant by a “Main Meal” please visit main meal frequently asked questions.
Below is a note from the Licencing Board regarding Occasional Licences
Further to the announcement of the details of the level 2 restrictions on hospitality premises the Licensing Board would like to clarify the position concerning external drinking areas to ensure compliance with both the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and the new Regulations. A licence issued under the 2005 Act details licensed hours, the new Regulations stipulate when premises must close, and these are two separate factors.
The Board’s longstanding policy on external areas is a terminal licensed hour of 2200 hours and that remains the position. This enables premises to sell alcohol in those areas until 2200 hours, allows customers 15 minutes of drinking up time thereafter (30 minutes if the alcohol was purchased for consumption with a meal) and the licence holder can thus ensure the premises are closed by 2230 hours as required by the level 2 restrictions. Applications for Occasional Licences or Extended Hours should therefore not seek a terminal hour later than 2200 hours.
Should any further information be required please contact email@example.com
Heating in outside structures
If you wish to provide heating in a temporary structure or the outside hospitality area of your premises, then you must have fully considered all the Health and Safety Implications. We have produced an information leaflet which explains these considerations.
The mandatory collection of customer and visitor details in hospitality businesses
Regulations make it mandatory for restaurants, cafes, bars, public houses, and hotels in which food or drink is sold for consumption on the premises, to take measures to:
- obtain and record visitor information,
- record visitor information in a filing system suitable for recording, storing, and retrieving such information,
- retain visitor information for at least 21 days from the date on which the visit occurred.
They must collect;
- the name and telephone number of one member of each household visiting the premises;
- the date of their visit and arrival times;
- together with a note of the number of any members of that person’s household visiting the premises at the same time.
They must provide the visitor information to a public health officer, as soon as reasonably practicable but within 24 hours of it being requested.
It is a criminal offence not to comply with these regulations.
The Scottish Government has published guidance on the collection of customer details.
Physical distancing for hospitality businesses
Hospitality businesses must take measures to ensure, where reasonably practicable
- The required distance is maintained between any persons on the premises (except for members of the same household or persons and their carers or between school pupils)
- They only admit people in sufficiently small numbers to make the required distance possible
- The required distance in any queue to enter the premises is maintained
Other measures need to be taken to minimise the covid-19 risk including:
- changing the layout
- controlling use of entrances or shared facilities
- installing screens
- use of PPE and signage
The required distance
For restaurants, cafes, bars, and pubs known as ‘reduced distance premises’, it is at least 1m whilst for all other premises, it is 2m.
A business can move to the reduced 1m distance only if it has ‘mitigation measures’ in place.
Exemption to the required 2 metre physical distance rules in hospitality premises
The Scottish Government has issued new statutory guidance relating to indoor hospitality. Hospitality businesses must have regard to this guidance. The aim is to ensure greater compliance with some of the key public health measures – such as physical distancing. Police Scotland and the local Protective Services team will, if necessary, enforce compliance with these measures.
Hospitality services, such as pubs, restaurants, and cafes may operate within the reduced 1m physical distance rules. If they do, they must ensure that there are additional mitigating measures in place to reduce the risks of operating at 1m as opposed to 2m.
From Saturday December 12 background music and volume on TVs will be permitted. It will cover sound and entertainment systems - including jukeboxes and sporting events on TV - but not karaoke machines or live performances.
Guidance has now been published on how background sound can be managed.
The background music guidance says customers should not have to "significantly raise voices to communicate with other customers or staff". Sound systems must be pre-set to "acceptable levels" and background music must not "compete" with TV commentary. Singing along to music and "shouting in response to TV broadcasts" is not to be permitted.
The government has also said that all other mitigating measures for hospitality remain in place.
- There must be clear signage displayed at entry points and throughout the premises to inform customers that they are within a 1 metre physical distancing zone.
- Premises must collect and keep customer details. (see the Mandatory Collection of Customer Details above)
- 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. If it is unavoidable for any reason, those in queues should be physically distanced.
- Face coverings are mandatory for customers and staff in indoor hospitality. There will be an exemption for when customers are eating and drinking. Staff in non-public facing roles, such as kitchen staff, are also exempt where face coverings may present health and safety issues due to the nature of roles. Exemptions for vulnerable groups/individuals also apply.
Trading Standards and Environmental Health officers from the Protective Services team will be employing a robust enforcement approach.
Officers will be visiting hospitality businesses during busy periods and will take immediate action if it is required.
We have issued several Direction Notices to businesses in Aberdeen.
Other enforcement options:
- Prohibition Notices may be issued to the business under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 or the Health & Safety at Work Etc Act.
- Fixed Penalty Notices may be issued by officers
- A report may be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.
- We may object to Occasional Licences.
- We may recommend that any permissions to use public spaces are revoked.
- We may instigate a Public Health Review of the Licence.
Guidance for Business
The Scottish Government has published guidance for the following sectors:
- Forestry and Environmental management activities
- Farmers and Crofters
- Tourism and hospitality
- Small and micro businesses
- Cinemas and drive-in cinemas
- The Events sector
- Swimming Pools
- Fitness Centres/Gyms
For the latest news from Aberdeen Trading Standards visit the Trading Standards Twitter page.