Scottish Government Announces Indicative Timetable for Phased Re-Opening of Scotland’s Economy

Yesterday (16th March), in a statement to the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, set out an indicative timetable for the re-opening of parts of the economy over the next two months.
There were a number of points made that are relevant to the attractions sector, particularly in relation to the date of Monday 26th April, where Ms Sturgeon announced that we will see museums and galleries reopen and the relaxing of travel restrictions across mainland Scotland.
Following the announcement by the First Minister, ASVA contacted the Scottish Government to check that, along with museums & galleries, other attraction types would also be able to open on 26th April. We were pleased to receive confirmation that the wider visitor attraction sector will be able to reopen on 26th April, providing relevant mitigating measures are in place.  
Highlights from the indicative timeline for reopening the economy include:
From 2 April:

  • A lifting of the ‘Stay at Home’ requirement and replacing it with a ‘Stay Local’ message (retaining the current, local authority-based travel restrictions for at least a three-week period)

From 5 April:

  • Reopening of non-essential ‘click and collect’ retail
  • Extending the list of retail permitted to include garden centres (indoor and outdoor), hairdressers and barbers (with shopfronts – not mobile services) by appointment only, homeware shops and vehicle showrooms (appointment only) and forecourts

From 26 April:

  • travel within all of mainland Scotland permitted (subject to other restrictions that remain in place)
  • remaining shops can reopen and mobile close contact services can resume
  • gyms can reopen for individual exercise
  • tourist accommodation to reopen (self-catering accommodation to be restricted in line with rules on indoor gathering)
  • weddings and funerals for up to 50 (including wakes and receptions with no alcohol permitted)
  • libraries, museums, galleries re-open
  • outdoor hospitality to open till 22:00 with alcohol permitted. Indoor hospitality permitted without alcohol and closing at 20:00

From 17 May:

  • further re-opening of hospitality: bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can stay open until 22:30 indoors with alcohol permitted and 2 hour time-limited slots and until 22:00 outdoors with alcohol permitted
  • adult outdoor contact sport and indoor group exercises can resume
  • cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls can re-open
  • small scale indoor and outdoor events can resume subject to capacity constraints (to be confirmed following stakeholder engagement)
  • non-professional performance arts can resume outdoors

Early June

  • up to 6 people from up to 3 households can socialise indoors in a home or public place
  • up to 8 people from 3 households can socialise outdoors.
  • hospitality can remain open until 11pm
  • attendance at events can increase, subject to capacity constraints
  • indoor non-contact sport can take place.
  • increased numbers at life events and places of worship subject to stakeholder engagement
  • casinos, funfairs and soft play can open, subject to capacity constraints 

ASVA has received a number of queries from members following the announcement yesterday and we are following up with the Scottish Government on the following issues (amongst others):

  • Clarity on when are we likely to receive updated guidelines on mitigating measures required to be implemented at attractions for re-opening, including test and protect measures, physical distancing restrictions, mandatory face coverings etc. We are very conscious that 2 metre physical distancing measures in particular have a significant impact on economic viability at many attractions and have fed back to the Scottish Government that, if we do see a continuation of 2m distancing rules, then additional financial support will likely be required for affected businesses.
  • For those who operate distillery/brewery visitor centres, we have sought clarity on when drinks samples will be able to be served as part of tours. With support from colleagues at the Scotch Whisky Experience and Diageo, we believe have put forward a strong case for samples to be allowed to be served as part of tours as soon as distillery/brewery visitors centres reopen.
  • For those attractions that operate rides, we have asked for clarity on indicative dates for reopening for these elements. At present, it is unclear whether these elements are categorised as funfairs, amusement arcades or whether they are simply included as being part of the attraction.
  • For those attractions that have soft play facilities, we have asked for greater clarity on when they will be able to reopen, as we only have early June as a guide at present.  

If any members have particular queries about re-opening beyond those noted above, please submit them to our CEO, Gordon Morrison – – and he will be happy to raise your query with Scottish Government officials.  

For full details of the First Minister’s statement, please click here and to see the full indicative timetable please follow this link.