Edinburgh pubs to welcome back punters indoors with a pint
Bars are set to welcome customers indoors from Monday as a light at the tunnel appears on the horizon for publicans.
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Currently, up to six people from two different households can meet indoors in cafes, restaurants, bars and other indoor hospitality venues.
But on Monday, the rules will be relaxed to allow six people from three households to meet at indoor hospitality venues.
Restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can open indoors until 10.30pm, serving alcohol to customers, who must attend during two hour pre-booked slots.
This news has been welcomed by establishments across the capital and none more so than by Mike Lewis who runs The Huxley as well as several other successful bars in Edinburgh like Badger & Co and The Cold Town House.
Mike said: “It has been a really challenging year for everyone in hospitality. But now we are just looking to get as many of our businesses open as we can. We are super excited to get back and going into level two is night and day for us considering how we can operate our business.
“Scottish people sit outside in any weather so the demand lately has been great but it is a real game changer going into next week and people are really excited about getting back out. It actually surprised us how many people just wanted to socialise and the lack of alcohol indoors wasn’t an issue.
“Not having boots on the ground to develop menus has been a real challenge with everyone working remotely. Going into the reopening we are trying to implement a gold standard of covid security and we want to be the safest workplace for guests to enjoy and staff feel protected.
“All the numbers are going in the right direction and the Indian variant is some concern but shouldn’t cause too many problems. By late July we should see some good numbers and we do not have the hotel open just yet as there is not the demand yet. But our apartments are doing well as people want a change of scenery - we have even seen residents of Edinburgh booking in for a stay.”
Although holiday accommodation was allowed to reopen when mainland Scotland entered Level 3, Scots were not able to go on holiday with other households.
From Monday, a family will be able to holiday in the UK with one other household, though the rules for indoor socialising still apply.
The Discovery Group which run several pubs across the East of Scotland have also said that The Ship Inn in North Berwick has benefited from staycations.
Andy Fell, spokesperson for the Discovery Group, said: “We are over the moon to welcome back our loyal customers. Most of our pubs are community based and it will mean a lot for us to be able to welcome them back through the doors.
“We lost a few of our regulars over the course of the pandemic but our staff continued to go above and beyond to support regulars.
“As a thank you we have invested in all of our venues, ensuring that customers and staff are being welcomed back with a superior product and extremely safe environment.
“We are cautiously optimistic about what the future holds and are humbled by the response from the public so far.”