Aberdeen pubs and restaurants are being urged to apply for licences so they can open up their outdoor areas.
The premises will need permission from the council to sell alcohol outside.
Beer gardens can be reopened in phase two of the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 lockdown route map.
Some will need occasional licences from the council to serve alcohol in outdoor spaces.
In cases in which the outdoor area already forms part of a Premises Licence, the area can be utilised.
However, in these instances, the licence holder must have written policies and procedures on physical distancing and hygiene measures that can be shown to the police.
Where the outdoor area is not currently part of a Premises Licence, the Licensing Board will permit the use of Occasional Licences as a temporary measure.
Businesses can now apply for more than one Occasional Licence at a time and will no longer have to submit applications four weeks in advance.
Every attempt will be made to process applications as quickly as possible, however turnaround times cannot be guaranteed.
Under current legislation, an Occasional Licence has a maximum duration of 14 days in terms of the legislation and this cannot be extended or altered by the Licensing Board.
Pubs and restaurants can submit a series of Occasional Licence applications at the same time.
Members’ Clubs should note that they are restricted to four applications for Occasional Licences lasting four days or more in any calendar year.
This is stipulated by legislation and is not something that the Licensing Board has any discretion.
Aberdeen Licensing Board convener Councillor Marie Boulton said: “Phase 2 of the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 Route Map for coming out of lockdown will enable pubs and restaurants to open outdoor spaces with physical distancing and increased hygiene routines in place.
“If, however, the outdoor area is not currently part of a Premises Licence then an Occasional Licence must be sought as soon as possible.
“We must ensure a safe transition to Phase 2 and any pub or restaurant without the appropriate licence in place will not be allowed to open its outdoor space. I would therefore urge publicans and restaurant owners to apply for an Occasional Licence without delay.”
To apply for an Occasional Licence, applicants should visit: https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/services/business-and-licensing/licences-and-permits/occasional-alcohol-licence