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New coronavirus restrictions for food and drink takeaway announced

Further restrictions to tackle the coronavirus spread have been announced for Scotland.

Published: January 13, 2021
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Due to the ongoing restrictions in place to tackle the spread of covid-19, businesses offering takeaway food and drinks will have to adapt this service.

Announcing the new restrictions to Holyrood, which include those soon to be applied to food and drink takeaway, on 13 January, first minister Nicola Sturgeon said that pressure on the NHS was likely to continue "for some time" as she urged people to continue to adhere to the new regulations.

What are the new restrictions?

Click-and-collect services will end, and only retailers selling essentials, such as clothing, baby equipment and books, will be able to offer collection services.

The First Minister said: "I know that businesses affected by this change will be disappointed and that many have gone to great lengths to make services as safe as possible.

"But we must reduce as far as is possible the reasons people have just now for leaving home and coming into contact with others.

"I welcome the actions of those businesses that have voluntarily suspended click and collect and tightened their procedures in relation to face coverings."

For those allowed to continue, the First Minister said "staggered appointments" will be needed to end queuing, as well as not allowing people inside premises.

Under the new regulations, all alcohol consumption outdoors in all Level 4 areas of Scotland will be banned.

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This means that anyone buying takeaway alcoholic drinks must consume this at home rather than outside, socially distanced with friends or family.

Customers will also no longer be allowed to enter hospitality businesses for takeaway services, meaning all takeaway sales of food or drinks must take place from outside the premises such as via a hatch or doorway.

The change is an attempt to limit the contact between other people or staff while indoors.

These new restrictions, which will come into place on Saturday, come as Scotland recorded 79 deaths of coronavirus patients and 1,949 new cases in the past 24 hours.

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Business owners react

Nick Watkins, owner of award-winning burger restaurant and takeaway, El Perro Negro in Glasgow said: "It’s very tough navigating through this pandemic but that’s the same for businesses and individuals all over the UK as the support from the treasury is just not there.

"Given the escalating situation with the virus we were expecting a blanket ban on takeaway.

"Whilst there will be some adjustments in store to accommodate it I’m confident we can work around it.

"It’s not ideal but we are in the middle of a pandemic and public safety is priority."

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Ian D'Annunzio-Green, owner of Edinburgh's Honeycomb & Co added: "I understand the need to protect the population and to keep people safe, but this latest tightening of restrictions is another huge blow for hospitality, a sector genuinely struggling to survive given the impact of the past 11 months.

"It’s an incredibly hard time for everyone and I’m so aware of how this affects our trusted suppliers and our own team.

"We’ve worked so hard, and spent thousands already, on adapting how we operate and have reworked the interior and exterior in order to keep our staff, customers and neighbours safe.

"It’s something that we’ve taken seriously from day one and we’ve followed the letter and spirit of the law at every stage.

"At this point we really need to consider how to minimise any further losses and protect the business long-term.

"We’ll have to think about whether it’s viable to serve only from the door into the street, given the layout of our premises.

"Delivery is not an option for us at present - it’s not our area of expertise, and outsourcing it just doesn’t make sense financially.

"We’ve got lots of great things planned and just want to be back operating as part of our thriving community, and as part of the recovery plan for this great city."

Julie Lin Mcleod, owner of Julie's Kopitiam in Glasgow said: "As far as I’m concerned after seeing an open letter signed by hundreds of ambulance drivers I’m happy to take part in trying to reduce this spread.

"Our business has been set up since the beginning of lockdown that you can only order via online slots which are capped with the amount of people that arrive at the restaurant at once.

"I don’t want a congregation outside the restaurant and making anyone feel uncomfortable on the street if there’s not enough pavement space.

"Also we are doing everything online to ensure there is as little contact with staff and customers as possible.

"We’re embracing the change and will do everything we can within how we operate to try and be as safe as possible to help our NHS with this massive burden they have right now."

Dean Banks, chef and restaurateur tweeted: "Well I'm glad I installed a hatch at Haarbour! We will stay open with pre-orders only. You can collect at our Hatch window."

Nicholas Russell, managing director at the award-winning Fife hotel, Balbirnie House which recently launched a click and collect service also tweeted to confirm this service would now be continued on a pre-order basis, saying: "National 'Click'n'Collect needs to stop, however Quote, 'Takeaways can only operate for delivery or on a no entry basis for either pre-order or walk-up service'

"Our Click'n'Collect is henceforth wef 16.1.2021 therefore now to become termed as 'pre-order', and onwards we go!"

Alasdair Smith, CEO of Scottish Bakers, also took to Twitter to say: "We @ScottishBakers are urgently seeking clarification on the new takeaway restrictions announced by the @ScotGovFM today. We will circulate this to all members as soon as we have it available."


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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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