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Article published 15/01/2021

On Wednesday (13 January) the First Minister announced further measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and limit non-essential contact will be introduced this weekend.

From Saturday 16 January 2021 in level four lockdown areas, businesses primarily concerned with the service of food and drink takeaways can only offer the service on a no-indoor entry basis.

This means that customers are not permitted to enter the inside of a premises to collect their purchase and that goods will need to be dispensed in a manner that meets this requirement. For example, this could be via the use of a service hatch, a non-internal counter such as a table across the threshold or passed through a door.

This measure is necessary to reduce the risk associated with people gathering in enclosed spaces (indoors) where the virus may spread more easily from person to person.

Guidance has now been updated to give further clarity on what this means for your business should you provide this service. Scottish Government guidance: Takeaways – no indoor entry.

Who does it apply to?

The measure applies to those businesses in the hospitality and food and drink sector that are primarily operating a food and drink takeaway service.

That means where food and drink takeaway forms the main part of the business and is not incidental to the wider business operation. This includes:

  • pubs and bars that have adapted to offer takeaway food and drink
  • restaurants that have either adapted or as part of normal operating models offer takeaway food and drink
  • cafes (existing exclusions apply i.e. in a hospital or care home)
  • sandwich shops
  • mainstream takeaway businesses, such as burger and chicken food to go premises, chip shops, International cuisine, pizza and kebab shops
  • bakery and pasty shops that are predominantly focused on the sale of hot food and drink or sandwiches to go rather than providing a wider range of products as the main part of the business
  • all other food and drink to go premises that are predominantly concerned with takeaway food and drink as the main part of the business

What you need to do

Many takeaway businesses already operate on a no-indoor entry basis. For those, no changes are required. For others, the practical modifications required by each business will vary by each operating environment.

Not all premises will have a service hatch but every premises will have an entrance, either a door or shuttered threshold. It is for operators to determine the most appropriate method to allow them to meet the restriction.

For further information read the Scottish Government guidance: Takeaways – no indoor entry. This includes information on examples of practical changes you could make, the use of face coverings and screens and queuing.

The frequently asked questions have been updated to cover takeaways - no indoor entry.