Coronavirus: Pubs and restaurants barred from selling alcohol indoors for two weeks in Scotland

Pubs, restaurants and cafes in Scotland are being barred from selling alcohol indoors for more than two weeks, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

They can continue selling food and non-alcoholic drinks indoors until 6pm and are able to sell alcohol outside up until the 10pm curfew.

But in areas with particularly high coronavirus rates, all licenced premises apart from hotels will be forced to close both indoor and outdoor services, though can continue doing takeaways.

Those tougher restrictions will affect Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley from 6pm on Friday.

Residents in those areas will also be encouraged not to travel outside them “if they don’t need to”, though Ms Sturgeon insisted she was not ordering a second lockdown.

And snooker, pool and bingo halls as well as casinos in the problem regions will have to cease trading, with most contact sport also having to stop.

Gyms can stay open and exceptions will be made for already-booked life events like weddings and funerals.

Ms Sturgeon promised an extra £40m of government support will go towards businesses affected by the announcement.

She said the measures will last until Sunday 25 October and people do not need to cancel half-term plans.

In “many respects” the moves feel like “backward steps”, Ms Sturgeon admitted, but she said without action coronavirus cases could shoot up to levels not seen since the first peak by the end of October.

Deaths are already beginning to rise, she added, with the highest number of fatalities linked to COVID-19 recorded last week since late June.

It comes after Ms Sturgeon warned yesterday she was getting “very strong public health advice” that further restrictions were necessary.

She added the number of new COVID-19 cases were higher than she was “comfortable” with, particularly around the middle of Scotland.

In England, the government is considering temporarily closing pubs and restaurants and limiting household mixing further.

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