Scottish restaurants, pubs and bars have been given the green light to start reopening from today (15 July) for indoor dining and drinking.
With outdoor hospitality areas having already been given the go-ahead to begin service on Monday 6 July, today now marks the most significant easing of restrictions in Scotland since the lockdown began in March.
However, while a number of Scottish restaurants have been preparing themselves to reopen on the first day possible, others are yet to formally announce if or when they will be able to open their doors again.
Unlike in England, the Scottish public are still being asked to abide by the two metre social distancing rule, although the hospitality industry has been told that it can move to distancing of just one metre. Yet, with the additional government requirements of revised layouts to prevent customers facing one another, as well as the installation of improved ventilation, it is still unfeasible for many smaller, independent restaurants to open their doors.
For the places which are able to reopen today, customers will see safety precautions in place including screens between tables, disposable or online menus, temperature checks on the door, and floor markings to ensure correct social distancing. On top of this, all customers will also have to provide their name and phone number as part of the NHS Test and protect scheme.
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned that that today "marks the biggest step so far in our exit from lockdown" and has urged Scots to "keep the heid" particularly when visiting pubs.
Restaurants in Scotland will also be able to sign up to the new Eat Out to Help Out scheme announced by Rishi Sunak last week, which will allow customers to save up to £10 per head on Mondays-Wednesdays throughout the whole of August.