Following the latest Covid-19 advice issued by the Scottish government, all bars and restaurants across the country must stop serving alcohol indoors at 6pm from tonight. Additional restrictions for the central belt mean that they will need to close completely for 16 days from this evening.
The update, which was issued by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday, will have a significant impact on golf club revenue streams, with clubhouses effectively having to shut at 6pm, unless they only serve soft drinks, although alcohol can be served outdoors until 10pm.
Accord to a report in The Scotsman newspaper, Gullane Golf Club is one of many clubs in the affected regions – which includes the Lothians, Glasgow, Ayrshire and Arran and the Forth Valley – that will be shutting its clubhouse at 6pm for the next fortnight.
The club’s managing secretary, Gordon Simpson, told The Scotsman, “The announcement has had a huge impact on our business as we will be closing our clubhouses again from today at 6pm.It is not only the food and beverage that we are losing out on, it is the golf as well due to people cancelling packages as the restrictions in hospitality are just so severe.
“As a club, we have spent thousands of pounds complying with all of the Government guidance with regards to PPE, changes in layouts, screens for bars etc. Just as we were getting our business growing once again, the rug has been pulled from beneath us again.
He added: “Whilst the First Minister has announced that she has made £40 million available to help cover costs, that won’t go far given the amount of businesses around the country affected by the latest changes, it is simply not good enough.”
Scottish Golf’s chief operating officer, Karin Sharp, confirmed that clubs in the five health board areas singled out by the First Minister had to abide by the new hospitality restrictions. Clubs elsewhere in Scotland can still have clubhouses open from 6am to 6pm but cannot serve alcohol during that time.
“The changes announced vary across different regions of the country and we would encourage all clubs to familiarise themselves with the latest guidance and how it may impact their operations,” said Sharp. “These measures are in place for an initial 16-day period and will be reviewed thereafter by the Scottish Government.”
See also this letter which has been issued to clubs in Scotland by Scottish Golf.
Scottish Golf told GBN, “The key changes that apply to all golf clubs are the hospitality restrictions which apply to private members clubs across the country. These are summarised below and are effective from 6pm on Friday 9th October 2020:
- Pubs and licensed cafes in five Scottish health board areas – Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley – must shut to all but takeaway customers
- In other parts of Scotland not mentioned above, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes can operate 6am to 6pm but cannot serve alcohol indoors during that time. These premises can sell alcohol outdoors until 10pm.
- Rules on gatherings remain the same with a maximum of six people from two households permitted.”