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Council clarify position ahead of tonight's restrictions
Home   News   Council clarify position ahead of tonight's restrictions

Council clarify position ahead of tonight's restrictions

Posted on 9 Oct 2020

North Ayrshire Council has issued guidance to licensed premises across the area about the new regulations coming into force later today.

It follows multiple inquiries from licenced premises to the Council’s Environmental Health team about the definition of a ‘café’.

As part of the tougher restrictions, from 6pm this evening licensed premises across Scotland’s central belt, including Ayrshire and Arran, must close until Sunday 25 October.  This includes bars, restaurants, bistros, clubs and halls.

However, licensed cafes have been given the green light to remain open, with reduced operating hours of 6am-6pm, so long as there is no sale of alcohol.

This has led to many questions from local food and drink operators across Ayrshire’s hospitality sector about what is defined as a ‘café’ and if these slightly more relaxed restrictions apply to their business.

The Council has therefore sought advice from the Scottish Government and is advising that a café is defined as an establishment whose primary business activity, in the ordinary course of its business, is the sale of non-alcoholic drinks, snacks or light meals. 

Businesses have the responsibility of deciding for themselves if their premises meet this definition or not. Businesses are asked to be honest and if there is any doubt as to whether your business meets the definition of a café, you should close.

It forms part of a wider package of temporary measures planned to last for 16 days, starting from 6pm today (Friday, 9 October) until and including Sunday 25 October.

 Other restrictions include:


•           Licensed premises  - ie bars, restaurants, bistros, clubs, halls, etc -     must close but other areas on the establishment that are not licensed can remain open (eg a shop in a licensed clubhouse could open while the bar was shut)


•           Take away can still be offered from licensed premises (including alcohol if Premises Licence allows)


•           Unlicensed premises may open between 6am-6pm


•           The rules on gatherings continue to apply in all scenarios, i.e. maximum of six people from two households


•           Meals and drinks (without alcohol) can be served to guests staying in accommodation, for transport and for student residences that are licensed premises.


•           Alcohol sales are permitted as part of ‘room service’ within licensed accommodation.


•           Wedding receptions and funeral wakes may continue (with alcohol) as per current meeting rules (20 person limit and in regulated premises only). The requirement to close at 10pm still applies to premises holding these events.


•           Casinos, bowling alleys and bingo, snooker and pool halls must also close.



If you need any further information or advice, please contact