Coronavirus: New rules in force for bars and restaurants

Table service in barImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Bars and restaurants should be providing table service and taking contact details

Bars and restaurants in Scotland are now required by law to collect customers' contact details.

Guidance such as providing table service, pre-booking and avoiding customers standing together or queuing is also now mandatory.

There should be no background music and TVs should be muted so that people do not have to lean in to be heard.

The Scottish government said police and local environmental health teams would enforce the rules if necessary.

Announcing the measures last week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the outbreak in Aberdeen and elsewhere had underlined how coronavirus could easily be spread in settings such as pubs.

On Friday, Ms Sturgeon confirmed that 198 cases were now associated with the cluster and, to date, 1,032 contacts had so far been identified.

The first minister also said 28 of the 65 new cases in Scotland were detected by NHS Grampian.

During her daily media briefing she said: "We know that pubs and restaurants are higher risk locations for transmission of Covid and we are seeing that reflected in out data right now."

Ms Sturgeon also urged people to limit the number of pubs they visited in one day and warned that customers who refused to provide their details should not be served.

She said: "The more settings you go to the more likely you will be to get Covid and the more likely you might be to spread it."

And Ms Sturgeon stressed that the Aberdeen outbreak emphasised the threat still posed by the virus.

She added: "Nobody's life should be feeling absolutely normal yet. Nobody's social life should feel exactly as it was before Covid struck."

However, Ms Sturgeon said the possibility of allowing "acceptable decibel levels" for TVs and music was being examined.

It emerged on Friday that a restaurant in East Renfrewshire had closed after a positive coronavirus case was linked to it.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said anyone who visited the Ca Va Brasserie in Giffnock from mid-afternoon onwards on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday should look out for symptoms associated with the virus, such as a fever or persistent cough.

A spokesman for the restaurant said: "A member of staff tested positive for Covid-19. As soon as this was discovered we closed the restaurant and arranged for a thorough clean.

"The safety of staff and customers is our absolute priority, and we won't reopen until that can be assured."

Toughen the rules

The hospitality sector had already been urged to take customers' contact details to allow the Test and Protect system of contact tracing to function

While many businesses had complied with the guidance, Ms Sturgeon earlier said others had not and it was therefore necessary to tighten the rules.

The first minister said putting the guidance on a statutory basis, meaning it was backed up by law, would "help to clarify exactly what is required of the hospitality industry".

Businesses were given seven days to prepare for the new tighter rules but were urged to act sooner to ensure the guidance was being followed.

Contact details may be kept by businesses for 21 days after which they must be destroyed or deleted.