The Government of Scotland has eased restrictions on the outdoor hospitality industry thereby allowing pubs, cafes and restaurants in the country to make use of outside spaces.

However, customers of pubs, cafes and restaurants are being warned that drinking and eating will not be the same as it was prior to lockdown in Scotland.

By temporarily relaxing regulations on planning, the Scottish government intends to support the industry and help the businesses to safely restart as the country emerges from lockdown.

Furthermore, businesses have been advised to implement physical distancing measures at their premises.

They will be allowed to use areas such as public footpaths for seating and could also include structures such as open-sided gazebos while ensuring that customers maintain physical distance.

Scotland Planning Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Scotland’s hospitality industry is vital to our economy which is why we took immediate steps to address the financial impact of Covid-19, including a £320m support package specifically aimed at the tourism and hospitality sector.

“As the industry re-opens with physical distancing measures, we want to enable businesses to take steps to provide a safe and pleasant environment for customers. Local authorities are responsible for planning and we are already encouraging them to facilitate the use of open outdoor spaces which pubs and restaurants can use.

“We have also issued guidance to local licensing boards about how to sensitively and pragmatically deal with requests to use outdoor space for the sale of alcohol.”

In March, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) criticised the Scottish Government for burdening hospitality and drinks businesses with the costly new legislation.