Good news for hospitality venues.
Temporary beer gardens and outdoor seating have been an absolute blessing for most of us over the last year, including both hospitality venues and pub-goers. Numerous food and drink establishments across Glasgow created their own temporary structures whether it be a marquee, pergola or your trusty benches and umbrellas to keep us covered, as well as fed and watered, and now they’re expected to stay a little longer.
The Scottish Government has announced that it will be extending its “special measures” to allow the erection of temporary buildings by hospitality businesses until March 31, 2022. This move comes as most businesses will want to continue to maintain outdoor covered spaces to comply with physical distancing measures for a longer period.
These past months saw temporary beer gardens and outdoor seating appear on city streets, car parks, and lanes allowing pubs and restaurants to remain open to serve alcohol outdoors, increase capacity and maintain social distancing measures during the pandemic. Under the special measures introduced last year, the period of time that businesses can have a temporary structure up for before being required to apply for a building warrant will be extended. Usually, the structures such as the ones used for outdoor dining can only remain in place for 28 consecutive days without a warrant.
Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing & Local Government, Shona Robison MSP said in a letter to local authorities: “I am extending the guidance for a further period to 31 March 2022. It is not my intention to extend the period further beyond this date. A lead in time of 6 months is being given to allow verifiers and the hospitality sector time to discuss and agree for temporary buildings to be removed or a formal building warrant application made to the local authority.
“While we are making progress towards level zero and beyond as defined by the strategic framework, the current situation means it is appropriate that the guidance remains in place. On that basis, I recognise the need for businesses to provide outdoor covered areas, e.g. marquees, which will of course need to comply with physical distancing measures set out in the Scottish Government and sector guidance. The guidance is intended to encourage the sector to take steps to provide a safe and pleasant environment for customers while supporting the economic recovery of the sector.”