Indoor bars and restaurants in the north-east will no longer be able to serve alcohol and must close by 6pm, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
The first minister announced changes to the government’s measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 at the Scottish Parliament this afternoon.
The harshest changes will be implemented in the central belt, with all licensed premises in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley health board areas closed for both indoor and outdoor operations.
Cafes without a licence to sell alcohol in those areas will be allowed to open until 6pm, Ms Sturgeon said, to counter social isolation.
The new restrictions – described by the Scottish Hospitality Group as a “death sentence” for the sector – will come into effect at 6pm on Friday and last until October 25.
The first minister said: “The need for action is highlighted by the daily figures.
“Our modelling suggests we are four weeks behind France and six weeks behind Spain.
“To interrupt that trajectory we must act now.”
Bars, cafes and restaurants not in the five health boards affected the stronger restrictions will be allowed to open between 6am and 6pm, but not sell alcohol.
The current meeting rules – a maximum of six people from no more than two different households – will still apply.
Ms Sturgeon said she was “grateful” for the work done by hospitality businesses to stop the spread of coronavirus.
But she added: “The evidence paper published today sets out why these settings present a particular risk.
“The R number seems to have risen above 1 approximately three weeks after the hospitality sector opened up.
“We know that more than one-fifth of people contacted by test and trace, report having visited a hospitality setting.”
“All of these reasons, significantly restricting licensed premises for 16 days temporarily removes one of the key opportunities the virus has to jump from household to household.
“It is an essential part of our efforts to get the R number significantly below one.”
People in the central belt have been asked to avoid public transport unless absolutely necessary for the next two weeks.
It should only be used when travelling to work, school or for other unavoidable reasons.
Although a travel restriction is not being enforced in these areas, the first minister has urged people not to travel beyond their own health boards.
Across Scotland, shops will be asked to re-introduce two-metre social distancing and other measures like one-way systems from this weekend.
An additional £40 million has been put aside for hospitality businesses affected by the new restrictions.
Ms Sturgeon called on “the spirit of love and solidarity that has served us so well” to help the country continue battling against the pandemic.
She said: “Many other countries are right now introducing restrictions on hospitality, no doubt for the same reasons.
“Ireland, France, Germany and Belgium have announced a variety of different measures over the past few days.
“One of the things we are trying to do is balance the public health harm caused by Covid with wider economic and social harms.
“I know these measures, although temporary, will have a significant effect on businesses and I am sorry for that.
“But since the government is placing an obligation on businesses, we have an obligation to help them financially.”
The Scottish Hospitality Group said Ms Sturgeon signed a “death sentence” for the sector with the new restrictions.
According to the group, the ban on indoor alcohol sales will result in smaller family-run businesses “not surviving past winter”.
Spokesman Stephen Montgomery said: “The first minister has effectively signed a death sentence for many businesses across the Scottish hospitality industry, while the real problem is socialising at home.
“We have repeatedly implemented the safety measures required by the government and more to protect our customers and staff.
“We are part of the solution to combat this virus not part of the problem.”