As restrictions ease next week, the hospitality industry will be able to reopen for indoor seating for the first time this year.

On Tuesday, the First Minister confirmed a number of lockdown measures would ease from Monday April 26.

These include indoor opening of hospitality up to 8pm, though alcohol sales will remain outdoors-only until May 17.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon said she expected households to stay at least one metre apart while in pubs or restaurants.

She said the rule had not changed from last year, agreeing with comments from the Scottish Beer and Pub Association that claims otherwise were “scaremongering”.

Nicola Sturgeon has hit out at "myths" of new physical distancing rules in pubs and restaurants, saying the one-metre rule will remain in place.

Here's what a move to Level 3 will mean in hospitality:

Irvine Times:

When can hospitality open?

Outdoor hospitality will open from 26 April with alcohol permitted outdoors (no meal requirement) with licensing times applicable, which for most premises will be 22:00 (last order times planned accordingly).

Limited indoor hospitality will also be permitted from 26 April for food and non-alcoholic drinks up to 20:00 (last order times planned accordingly).

Is it table/seated service only?

Yes, service must be at table/seated only both indoors and outdoors in the initial stages of reopening.

What are the socialising rules?

From 26 April up to six people from six different households can meet outdoors and six from two different households indoors. 

Operators should ensure booking systems take account of these requirements so bookings for groups exceeding these limits are not made.

Children under 12 do not count towards the number of people but do count towards the number of households.

From 17 May this will be eight people from eight households outdoors and six from three different households indoors.

Numbers will increase again in levels 1 (approx. early June) and level 0 (approx. late June).

What are the distancing rules?

People from different households must remain 1m apart.

The layout of tables should ensure physical distancing between groups and households can be observed.

Can I get non-alcoholic drinks indoors without a meal?

Yes, teas, coffees and soft drinks can be served indoors without food within socialising rules until 20:00 (last orders planned accordingly) from 26 April.

Do I need to wear a facemask when not eating or drinking?

No, once seated at a table people can remove their face covering.

The intention is to mitigate the risks where it may be more difficult to keep physically distanced from others such as when entering, exiting, and moving around premises i.e. using the bathroom.

Do staff need to wear face coverings?

Public-facing, front-of-house staff are required to wear face coverings, and staff while in any communal indoor area must wear a face covering.

There is an exemption for staff who are more than two metres away from the public/colleagues or they are behind a suitable partition.

Can customers enter inside to use the toilet?

Yes, but operators must review their risk assessments to ensure robust protocols are in place to manage any pinch points where people are likely to come into closer contact with one another.

Face coverings when indoors and not seated will also still be required i.e. when visiting toilet facilities.

Can I queue at a bar?

There should be no queueing at bar or service areas indoors. All service should take place at seated/table areas.

Will takeaway services be open?

Yes, and you can enter if there are clear systems in place to observe physical distancing, face coverings when inside public spaces, and staff safety measures via screens etc.

Depending on capacity, queueing outside may need to be considered.

Can live entertainment be provided?

No, live entertainment will be managed in line with events guidance.

This is currently not expected until 17 May and will be subject to further information as events and hospitality currently operate at different physical distancing thresholds.

What happens if my local authority area moves level?

It is expected that all of Scotland, including the Islands, will move in lock-step together through the levels.

There may be a need for local outbreak management measures to be taken, in which case further details will be provided for affected areas.

Can they offer pool, darts, and gaming machines?

Amusement arcades-snooker/pool halls closed – gaming machines and pool not permitted in hospitality.

Can hospitality premises show live sports?

Hospitality premises may show TV broadcasts (within low-level sound management guidance) during opening hours.

However, to avoid large crowds, a live sports broadcast must not be planned and or promoted as an event to draw in customers for the sole purpose of watching it on TV.

How do operators manage the seating requirement?

Operators should consider their systems for how this can be managed i.e. pre-booked slots, the arrival point for checking in and directing customers to tables, ordering systems, whether manual or electronic, and clear customer information on the process.

Required compliance behaviours, such as the need to wear face coverings when using toilet facilities, keeping physically distanced and recording personal details/using ‘check-in Scotland app’ for Test and Protect etc.

Does closing time mean we must leave?

All customers must be departed by stipulated closing time with last orders planned accordingly.

It is understood indoor service areas will need to remain open for later outdoor closing where this is a later time, and for takeaway.