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Highland Council environmental health team to monitor compliance with hospitality restrictions


By Alan Hendry

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Nicola Sturgeon said this week that action was needed now to prevent a return to the peak level of infections experienced in spring.
Nicola Sturgeon said this week that action was needed now to prevent a return to the peak level of infections experienced in spring.

Highland Council's environmental health team will be conducting visits to premises throughout the region to monitor compliance with the new restrictions imposed on the hospitality sector.

Officers emphasise that this will mainly be to give support and advice to businesses, although "appropriate enforcement action" will be taken if there is evidence of non-compliance.

The Scottish Government announced a series of measures on Wednesday that will apply to many food and drink businesses over the course of a 16-day period from Friday, October 9, until Sunday, October 25.

The temporary measures mean:

  • Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés may only open indoors between 6am and 6pm, with no sales of alcohol
  • Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés may open outdoors until 10pm, with sales of alcohol (where licensed)
  • Takeaways (including from pubs and restaurants) can continue
  • Evening meals may be served in accommodation for residents only, but no alcohol can be served
  • Current meeting rules, with a maximum of six people from two households, continue to apply
  • Specific life events, such as weddings and funerals, may continue with alcohol being served, with current meeting rules for these events (20-person limit in regulated premises only)

Updated Covid-19 guidance has been published by the Scottish Government for the tourism and hospitality sector . This includes Frequently Asked Questions covering the most common queries about the new measures. For further advice email envhealth@highland.gov.uk

Alan Yates, Highland Council’s environmental health manager, said: “Our services are very conscious of the challenges faced by businesses within the hospitality sector at the moment and are very grateful for the co-operation and compliance shown in recent months by the vast majority of businesses within the Highlands.

"These additional measures will undoubtedly be very difficult for businesses, but we would urge them to refer to the updated guidance that has now been published and review their current arrangements to ensure they are fully compliant. Equally we would ask members of the public to play their part and follow all the public health advice when visiting business premises.

“If businesses and the public follow all the public health advice then this will be the best way to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Our environmental health team will be continuing to conduct visits to premises throughout the Highlands over the coming weeks in order to monitor compliance with the new measures, and working with partners in Police Scotland. This will be predominantly to provide support and advice to business premises."

However, Mr Yates, warned that in any premises where there is evidence of non-compliance, "appropriate enforcement action will be taken".

He added: "Should any business wish further advice on compliance with the new additional measures being imposed we would encourage them to contact our environmental health team.”

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