These are the rules for going out for Christmas dinner or drinks with your household bubble

By Jenna Macfarlane
Thursday, 26th November 2020, 4:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th November 2020, 4:31 pm

In a four nations agreement, the First Minister announced that families can meet during the Christmas period, with three households allowed to form a “bubble” from 23 to 27 December.

During this time, there are certain rules for what bubbles can do when visiting hospitality venues for Christmas dinner.

There are also differing rules for hospitality depending on what protection level your area is under.

With Christmas round the corner, here’s everything you need to know about the new rules for visiting pubs and restaurants in Scotland over the festive season.

Can household bubbles visit hospitality venues?

According to the government website, those who have formed a bubble cannot visit hospitality venues with the other households.

You may only go to a pub or restaurant with your own household (or extended household) during the period of 23 to 27 December.

For the rest of the time, the usual hospitality restrictions for each local protection level apply.

These are:

Level 0

Only under Level 0 restrictions are hospitality venues anything like normal, but there are currently no areas in Scotland that have been placed under this protection level.

Pubs and restaurants are able to open both indoors and outdoors with normal licensing times, but socialising rules still apply, with a maximum of eight people from three households meeting indoors.

Level 1

Only a few areas in Scotland have been placed under Level 1 restrictions.

Pubs and restaurants are able to open in Level 1 areas, but they have to close by 10:30pm both inside and outside, with last entry permitted at 9:30pm.

Socialising in hospitality venues is restricted to six people from two households inside and outside.

Level 2

Pubs and restaurants can operate under the Level 2 restrictions, but can only sell alcohol indoors with a main meal until 8pm.

Indoor hospitality venues must close completely at this time, with last entry at 7pm.

Outdoor venues can stay open until 10:30pm.

As in Level 1, socialising in hospitality venues is restricted to six people from two households inside and outside.

Level 3

Pubs and restaurants affected by Level 3 regulations are allowed to open for the sale of food and non alcoholic drinks, until 6pm.

Last entry is 5pm and all customers must have left the premises and the venue must be closed by 6pm.

Six people can meet in hospitality venues from a maximum of two households, and customers need to remain at least one metre between other groups.

Scots are also asked to avoid visiting several places on one day, especially going between several bars or pubs.

Takeaways can continue as normal, but only until 10pm.

Level 4

Under Level 4 restrictions, all pubs and restaurants have to shut, except for takeaway services.

You can still meet outdoors with up to six people from two households.

But the Scottish Government has instructed those in Level 4 areas to only go out and about where necessary.

Will any of the rules be relaxed before Christmas?

The current Covid restrictions are being reviewed weekly, with Nicola Sturgeon announcing any changes to protection levels on Tuesdays, with new rules coming into place the following Friday.

Areas may be moved up or down protection levels depending on the rate of infection, which would affect hospitality rules.

The next review announcement will be on Tuesday 1 December, with a total of four more announcements before Christmas.

This means that hospitality restrictions could change between now and 25 December, whether they become more relaxed or more strict.