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Nicola Sturgeon has announced a nationwide crackdown on indoor evening drinking, with a full shutdown for all licensed premises across the central belt where infection rates are accelerating most quickly.
Announcing measures that will come into force from this Friday from 6pm, for 16 days, to Sunday 25 October inclusive, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will be able to operate indoors during the day, from 6am to 6pm, for the service of food and non-alcoholic drinks only. They can continue to serve alcohol outdoors up to the current curfew of 10pm.
In five health board areas which are causing greatest concern, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, the Lothians, Ayrshire and Arran and Forth Valley, all licensed premises – with the exception of hotels for residents – will be required to close indoors and outdoors, though takeaways will be permitted.
People in those five areas are also being asked to avoid public transport, and not to travel outside the area they live in unless they have to. Sturgeon added that she was not asking people to cancel half-term holidays they have already booked.
She also announced that the Scottish government would be making available an additional £40m to support businesses that will be affected by these measures over the next two weeks.
Sturgeon announced the tough new measures as she confirmed a further 1,054 people testing positive for Covid-19 yesterday.
National restrictions in Scotland were already more stringent than elsewhere in the UK. Last month Scots were banned from visiting other homes, with strict limits of six people from two households also in force for outdoor meetings and a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants.
The details comes after intense speculation intense about the nature of the “circuit-breaker” restrictions to stem the rising infection rate, which ministers and public health officials have been floating for more than a week.
On Tuesday, Sturgeon moved to reassure the public additional restrictions would not amount to a full lockdown following growing parental and business anxiety about the possibility of school or hospitality closures.
Andrew McRae, Scottish policy chair of the Federation of Small Businesses said that the ongoing uncertainty had put an “emotional strain” on his members. “Days of unhelpful speculation regarding a new wholesale lockdown has harmed fragile business confidence and put new emotional strain on those that work for themselves. Ministers need the support of firms to tackle this crisis – action is required to rebuild trust between government and business.”
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Scotland’s pubs banned from serving alcohol inside for 16 days | World news