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CORONAVIRUS CRISIS LICENSING BRIEFING #34
Update 18 January 2021
New regulations: further restrictions and ban on public outdoor drinking
Takeaway food and drink
In Level 4 areas (currently the whole of mainland Scotland) takeaway food and drink (including alcohol) may only be supplied:
According to the updated guidance, the restrictions are only intended to apply to “businesses in the hospitality and food and drink sector that are primarily operating a food and drink takeaway service”. So, for example, where a convenience store provides an ancillary “food to go” service alongside the sale of groceries, the operation of the business is not affected.
Click and collect
Prior to the amending legislation, businesses providing goods for sale or hire in a shop or offering library services were required to confine their operations to a click and collect arrangement. This restriction did not apply to a long list of exempt outlets including supermarkets and other food retailers and who are unaffected by the changes.
As a result of the amendments the types of businesses required to close but able to operate on a click and collect basis has been narrowed down: see the list of “permitted collection services” here.
Collections can only take place (i) “by staggered appointment, with where reasonably practicable a gap between each appointment”; and (ii) “where access to the premises is given only to the extent necessary to provide the service”.
It is now an offence to consume alcohol outdoors in a public place in Level 4 areas.
Byelaws are in operation through most of Scotland banning this activity but the wording varies from area to area. The new measure is designed to ensure uniformity.
According to the updated statutory guidance, “Operators should be in a position, if required, to offer advice to remind customers that consumption of their purchase in an outdoor public place is prohibited.”
For the dangers to which pubs and other licensed outlets are exposed by offering “takeaway pints”, see this Scottish Licensed Trade News article.