Hospitality guidance - Coronavirus

As of Monday 9th August 2021, Aberdeenshire moves ‘beyond level 0’ of the strategic framework, which removes most of the Coronavirus restrictions which have been imposed on the hospitality industry during the pandemic.

Remaining restrictions

By law under the Coronavirus regulations, hospitality businesses are still required to collect mandatory contact details of customers to assist ‘Test and Protect’.

The requirement to wear a face covering remains in place whilst indoor and moving around a premises, unless you are seated at a table, or whilst eating and drinking. However, to help reduce transmission risks and protect staff and customers, we would strongly encourage the use of table service where possible, alternatively a takeaway service may also be provided.

Local licensing laws

Local licensing laws will apply to all hospitality though the mandatory collection of contact details remains in place. Hospitality businesses should revert to their license for their operational hours. If you require any changes to be made to your licence, please email your Licensing Standards Officer.

Nightclubs and adult entertainment

In line with other hospitality venues, nightclubs, discos, dance halls and adult entertainment venues may now reopen subject to the requirements for face coverings and the mandatory collection of customer details. Masks may be removed for dancing, as well as for eating and drinking under the allowed exemptions.

Weddings, funerals, civil partnerships and other milestone events

There are no restrictions remaining on how many people may attend significant life or milestone events such as a wedding, funeral, or civil partnership. It remains a requirement for face coverings to be worn at such events, with exemptions from this during the ceremony for the person leading the funeral service, marriage ceremony or civil partnership, the person providing the eulogy at a funeral, the couple getting married or entering a civil partnership, and guests accompanying one of the parties getting married or entering a civil partnership down the aisle. There are also exemptions when eating and drinking or dancing at weddings.

Face coverings

Although vaccination is our best protection against COVID-19, no vaccine is 100 percent effective and we know that even those vaccinated contract the virus. Clinical and public health advice is clear that face coverings continue to be an effective way of stopping transmission.
Unless exempt for specific circumstances, the law says you must wear a face covering in most indoor public places including public transport. The Scottish Government recommends that face coverings should be worn when moving around when it is crowded. This is encouraged for busy outdoor events also.

Children under 12 are exempt from any requirement to wear face coverings, but can, of course continue to choose to do so. It is recommended that, in the case of the small number of children already attending secondary school before their 12th birthday, they are encouraged to follow the same rules that apply to those aged 12 and over to align with their peer group.

For more information please view Coronavirus (COVID-19): face coverings guidance.


The evidence shows that good ventilation is an important tool in reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, especially for spaces which might otherwise be confined or particularly busy. We would advise the following:

  • open windows or doors to let fresh air in
  • travel in cars, trains, and buses with windows open
  • if possible, meet outdoors instead of indoors

Further information can be found on the Scottish Government website - Coronavirus (COVID-19): ventilation guidance.

Hand hygiene and surface cleaning

Hand hygiene should continue to be maintained to a high standard and hand sanitiser be made available in public spaces if possible. This will help reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, as well as other illnesses or infectious diseases.

It is also important to continue cleaning surfaces regularly, for example, restaurants should ensure tables are thoroughly cleaned and sanitised in between customers. An enhanced cleaning schedule should continue to be followed to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission onsite.

Physical distancing – ‘keep your distance if you can’

As of the 9th August, there is no legal requirement for individuals from different households to remain physically distanced and no limit on the numbers of people who can gather together to socialise.

Even though the law has changed, it’s important people keep thinking about how the virus can be transmitted – ie through close contact, particularly indoors. Remaining physically distanced is important for those who may be vulnerable and those who are yet to be fully vaccinated, therefore, whilst the virus remains in circulation within the community, we would encourage people and businesses to think about how best to use the space available to reduce the risk of outbreaks and transmission within the premise.

Information sources

The following information sources are available to help businesses and customers understand the remaining requirements and how to protect the health of customers and staff whilst there is a risk of Covid-19 transmission within the community: