Level 2 restrictions on external drinking areas

Further to the Scottish Government’s announcement of the level 2 restrictions on hospitality premises Aberdeen Licensing Board would like to clarify the position with regard to external drinking areas to ensure compliance with both the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and the new Regulations.

A licence issued under the 2005 Act details licensed hours, the new Regulations stipulate when a premises must close, and these are two separate factors.

The Board’s longstanding policy on external areas is a terminal licensed hour of 10pm and that remains the position. This enables premises to sell alcohol in those areas until 10pm, allows customers 15 minutes of drinking up time thereafter (30 minutes if the alcohol was purchased for consumption with a meal) and the licence holder can thus ensure the premises are closed by 10.30pm as required by the level 2 restrictions.

Applications for Occasional Licences or Extended Hours should therefore not seek a terminal hour later than 10pm.

Should any further information be required, please contact licensing@aberdeencity.gov.uk in the first instance.

The Scottish Government’s new COVID-19 tiered strategic framework includes levels into which local authorities are placed. The tier levels come into effect from 6am on Monday 02 November. The City of Aberdeen has been placed on level 2.

Full details of the framework is available on the Scottish Government website.