Information from Councillor Martin Earl

Further to my email yesterday on the new restrictions the Scottish Government has today published the new regulations. The new regulations can be found here.

The restrictions will come in to place at 6 pm on Friday 9 October 2020 until midnight on Sunday 25 October 2020. The restrictions are as follows:-

Licensed Premises

Any person who carries on business at a premises licensed to sell alcohol under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and situated within the District of Stirling Licensing Board (the “Board”) area must close and cease selling food and drink for consumption on the premises from 6pm on Friday 9 October 2020 until midnight on Sunday 25 October 2020.

There are some limited exceptions to this general position and these are as follows:-

  • A limited exemption for premises where the service of food and drink forms part of another business. The part of the business serving food and drink must close but the remainder of the premises can remain open. An example is a golf clubhouse, where the bar must close and cease selling food and drink, but the club shop may remain open.
  • Cafes and canteens are excluded from the definition of licensed premises but must cease selling alcohol with food if they hold a premises licence. A café is defined as “an establishment whose primary business activity, in the ordinary course of its business, is the sale of non-alcoholic drinks, snacks or light meals, which may be consumed on the premises”
  • limited exemption for service of meals and non-alcoholic drinks for guests only in accommodation and student residences that are licensed premises. Hotels and commercial providers of accommodation can serve alcohol via room service only, and can serve food and non-alcoholic drinks for consumption in other areas of the hotel or commercial accommodation.
  • exemption for specific life events such as wedding receptions or a funeral which may continue with alcohol being served with numbers present being restricted as per current rules.
  • exemption for takeaways and home deliveries which remains subject to local license conditions.

If there is dubiety as to what is a café or not, Council officers will have regard to the licensed premises operation plan to ascertain whether the primary activity in the ordinary course of business is the sale ofnon-alcoholic drinks, snacks or light meals, which may be consumed on the premises :-

“For the purposes of these regulations Stirling Council regards a café as a small establishment with the primary purpose of serving light meals and snacks, coffee, tea and other soft beverages. The Council will have regard to the operating plan of any licensed premises which claims to be a café in ascertaining whether that licensed premises is indeed a café.”

Unlicensed Premises

Unlicensed premises may open between 6 am and 6 pm and cannot permit the consumption of alcohol on the premises such as BYOB.

Other Listed Businesses

All persons carrying on a listed business located in the Board area must close and not carry on that business for 16 days from 6pm on Friday 9 October 2020 until midnight on Sunday 25 October. The only exception to this is where the listed business forms part of a larger business premises. In this situation the requirement to close the listed business is met if that part within the larger business premises is closed.

Listed businesses are:-

(a) a nightclub or discotheque,

(b) a sexual entertainment venue,

(c) an indoor theatre,

(d) a concert hall,

(e) a soft play centre,

(f) a snooker hall,

(g) a pool hall,

(h) a bowling alley,

(i) a casino, or

(j) a bingo hall.

Restrictions of Gatherings

The current restrictions on gatherings in public places remain; no more than 6 people from no more than 2 households can gather together. The specific exceptions for life events such as weddings and funerals remain.

You will appreciate that we are responding very quickly to a fluid and changing situation. Whilst the regulations provide a definition of café, the Council will try to be as helpful to license holders as possible. However, there will be situations where licensed premises will not fall within the Government’s definition of a café.  

The Council’s licensing team is responding to enquiries as quickly as they can but we are currently experiencing a high volume of calls and emails; we are working as hard as we can to deal with queries. Information will also be placed on the Council’s website.