When will restaurants reopen in Scotland? Nicola Sturgeon gives the go ahead

The First Minister has laid out her timetable for the easing of restrictions

Updated on 16 March 2021 • Written By Rosie Conroy

When will restaurants reopen in Scotland? Nicola Sturgeon gives the go ahead

When it comes to hospitality rules across the UK, the four nations have set their own independent restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. So, while England had already announced that restaurants would reopen from the 12 April 2021, Scotland has been left in the dark until recently.

The wait is over now as speaking to MSPs in Holyrood Nicola Sturgeon has announced Scotland’s roadmap out of lockdown. The announcement stated that the hospitality industry would be able to reopen – with some restrictions still in place – from the 26 April 2021.

On this date, the current timetable states outdoor hospitality will be able to open until 10pm, with these venues that have outside space also able to serve alcohol to guests. Meanwhile, indoor hospitality will have stricter guidelines, meaning if you’re dining inside you’ll have to be finished by 8pm, and you won’t be able to order alcohol with your meal.


Many will see the move as a positive step to be able to socialise again, although this too will be restricted initially. “Social mixing in indoor public places will be subject to current maximum of 4 people from up to 2 households.” The review states.

And what of the future? The First Minister has been hesitant to give guidelines past May, but in a statement the Scottish Government has said “from the start of June, we would aim for Scotland to move back to Level 1. This will allow further relaxation across all areas of the economy and society.”

As ever, Sturgeon was keen to stress that these guidelines are still very much a ‘framework’ and not a promise, saying that these dates could only be met if it proves possible to keep bringing the levels of cases down. Another announcement is expected in the coming weeks.

Ready to book in somewhere nice? Here are our favourite outdoor restaurants in Edinburgh