General Q – What were the changes announced yesterday
A. – The new measures are:
• All licensed premises will be required to close, with the exception of takeaway services
• Cafés will be able to open between 6am and 6pm
• Takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants) can continue
• Evening meals may be served in accommodation for residents only but no alcohol can be served
• Specific life events, such as weddings and funerals, may continue with alcohol, with current meeting rules for these events (20 person limit in regulated premises only)
• No group exercise classes for indoor gyms and sports courts, pools with an exemption for under 18s
• No adult (18+) contact sports or training, except professional sports, indoor or outdoor
• No outdoor live events
• Snooker/pool halls, indoor bowling, casinos and bingo halls are to close
• Public transport use should be minimised as much as possible, such as for education and work, where it cannot be done from home
• Current meeting rules, maximum of six people from two households, continue to apply
Additionally, from this weekend, shops across Scotland are asked to return to two metres physical distancing and reintroduce the mitigations they put in place earlier in the pandemic, including one-way systems.
Q. Why are these measures being proposed?
A. As detailed in the latest Evidence Paper published on the 7th October, the rate of growth in the epidemic is increasing, with R now significantly above one (range 1.3 to 1.7). This is leading to accelerating numbers of cases and a rising test positivity rate in most areas of Scotland.
The new National restrictions on household visiting introduced on 22nd September should help to reduce the spread of the virus. However, without further interventions, modelling shows that new infections are likely to continue to increase and could hit a peak similar to that experienced in March during October
Q. When will these temporary changes come into force?
A. From 6pm on Friday 9th October apart from the change to back to the 2m social distancing requirements in retail, which will come into force on Saturday 10th October.
Q. How long is “temporary”?
A. These measures are intended to be in force from Friday 9 October at 6pm to Sunday 26 October inclusive. The Scottish Governments aim and hope is that these can be lifted, however, that decision has to be taken in line with the state of the epidemic at the time. The Scottish government will keep these measures under review and report to Parliament.
Licensed cafes in the central belt will be able to open 0600—1800 as long as they do not serve alcohol or allow it to be consumed on the premises. Effectively, licensed and unlicensed cafes will be treated the same. Licensed restaurants, pubs and bars within central belt will continue to be closed for 16 days.
Food to go
Q. A restaurant having to close because they hold a license need access to financial support – suppliers to hospitality impacted by restrictions will they be eligible?
A. The First Minstersaid consultation will take place on the use of £40m being made available but we will ensure the concern is fed in.
Q. Can alcohol be delivered / Can it be collected?
A If the licence held by the premises already permits sale for consumption off the premises, then delivery and collection of alcohol will still be possible, subject only to the restrictions in the licence.
Q. Can people order and wait on premises?
A. Yes. The requirement for businesses to take reasonable measures to ensure that the required distance is maintained between persons on its premises or people queuing for the premises still applies, so numbers inside should continue to be limited and queues should continue to be well controlled.
Q Is it a 6pm or 10pm curfew for takeaway?
A. No restriction at any time.
Q. Can drive thru/collection operate until 10pm?
A. It can operate beyond 10pm as now.
Q. Collection for coffee – can this still be done in person post 6pm?
Q. Is 2m distancing within retail settings just for the 2 weeks or permanent?
A. The 2m is in place for the duration of the measures announced and will be reviewed alongside the other measures that have been announced.
Q. Any evidence as to necessity of 2m distancing in shops?
A. Measures in hospitality have been introduced with the specific aim of reducing the number of contacts. A consequence of the decision on closure and limitations on alcohol is the likelihood of an increase in purchasing in food retail. Therefore it does not make sense to introduce restrictions to limit opportunity for contact in hospitality and not recognise the consequence in terms of consumer behaviour which is likely to increase demand in food retail.
Q. One way systems and reference to reintroduction in FMs statement – was this illustrative or what is expected?
A. Retailers must take reasonably practicable measures to maintain the 2m physical distancing requirement between persons on or seeking to enter their premises. Where 2m is not possible then businesses will be expected to undertake a risk assessment and determine what other protective measures are in place or can be put in place. One way systems may be appropriate for some retailers but for others where it is not possible then reducing the volume of customers to maintain 2m physical distance might well be a better solution. Maintenance of 2m should drive solutions.
Q. Extension to mandatory face covering locations – Need definition, will this be in back shop areas etc?
A. As the First Minister said, this will apply to any communal settings, whether front or back of house. Food Standards Scotland guidance on the use of face coverings and face masks in relation to safe food production should also be considered. E.g. food preparation and hygienic production factors should be considered and Food Standards Scotland guidance applied appropriately.
Q. Public Transport – will it be running as normal?
A. Yes, but the guidance focuses on essential travel e.g. to work.