2 Metre Distancing and Test & Protect to be Maintained when Scottish Attractions Re-Open

Today (24th March), ASVA received confirmation from the Scottish Government that 2 metre physical distancing restrictions will be in place for our sector when re-opening commences on 26th April, for at least the short term.
ASVA has been pushing for changes to the restrictions to allow our sector to trade at a more economically viable 1 metre (as per WHO social distancing recommendations), but unfortunately, the Scottish Government do not believe that it would be appropriate to reduce physical distancing restrictions yet. They have, however, confirmed that 1 metre physical distancing will be possible within hospitality settings, e.g. cafes, bars and restaurants, so attractions with hospitality elements will be able operate with 1 metre distancing in these areas should they so wish.
ASVA is very disappointed that 2 metre distancing is to be maintained for attractions. We have made it clear to the Scottish Government that this restriction will have considerable negative economic impacts for 85% of the sector and have called for:

  • Clarity on when physical distancing restrictions will be loosened for attractions.  We particularly recognise that there are a number of members who will not be able to re-open their doors at all while 2m is maintained, so we urgently need clarity on when we are likely to see an easing of distancing restrictions.
  • Further, targeted financial support for those businesses within the sector who cannot trade at an economically viable level with 2 metre restrictions in place.

ASVA has put forward what we feel are very sensible proposals to the Scottish Government for the gradual reduction of physical distancing measures within our sector, including the adoption of additional mitigating measures, to ensure that any safety concerns are addressed. It is therefore disappointing that we do not have more positive news to support to the sector at this stage. We, however, remain hopeful that our case will be heard and we will see restrictions lifted sooner rather than later. We can assure members that we will continue to engage with Scottish Government officials on this matter during the purdah period when we are unable to engage with ministers.

It has also been confirmed by the Scottish Government that Test & Protect measures, including the collection of customer details for those visitors using hospitality facilities will remain in place, as per last year. The Scottish Government has highlighted that operators can use the Test & Protect app to help them manage this requirement.