The Scottish Government has refused to comment on reports it will shut pubs and bars for more than a fortnight from this weekend as part of a sober October plan to bring coronavirus under control.
Nicola Sturgeon will make a statement to the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday afternoon, outlining “additional targeted steps” in response to the growing number of new Covid-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths.
The first minister has ruled out a return to a full lockdown, similar to the one implemented nationwide in March, but appeared to suggest the hospitality sector could be hit by new restrictions in the coming days.
The Scottish Government has refused to be drawn on a supposed leaked planning document outlining efforts to put a “brake” on the virus for 16 days, starting this weekend and running until Sunday October 25.
The political news website Guido Fawkes reports the plan has been backed at the highest levels of the Scottish Government and will see:
- All pubs and bars closed.
- Cafes and restaurants remain open but not allowed to sell alcohol.
- All indoor visitor attractions closed.
- Holiday accommodation remain open but people will be advised to “stay local” as much as they can – and enjoy the outdoors whenever they can.
According to the document, the restrictions will be lifted outside the central belt from October 26 and reviewed by the same date for areas inside it. This could mean restrictions remaining in place for some areas into November.
The plans would effectively ban the serving of alcohol during the 16-day period and there are also reports cafes and restaurants could have their opening hours limited.
There could also be exemptions in place for “significant life events”, such as wedding receptions and funeral wakes, to allow these to continue in line with current rules, and pubs and bars may be allowed to open to sell food and non-alcoholic drinks.
However, a final decision on all of the proposed measures is only expected to be reached at a Scottish Government cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said it does not comment on leaks.
Support The Courier today.
The Courier is committed to delivering quality content to our communities and right now that’s more important than ever — which is why our key content is free. However, you can support us and access premium content by subscribing to The Courier from just £5.99 a month. Because Local Matters.Subscribe