NICOLA Sturgeon has warned of a potential full closure of pubs and restaurants in Scotland if new rules are not complied with.

The First Minister made the comments while announcing a raft of new lockdown restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus. 

Here, we detail out the new restrictions brought in for the hospitality sector. 

What did Nicola Sturgeon announce?

From Friday, there will be a “strict nationwide curfew” for pubs, bars and restaurants.

These venues will be forced to close from 10pm.

Like England, this 10pm curfew is not last orders – the doors will be closed at this time.

Why not just close the pubs fully?

The First Minister said she “understood” the reasoning behind the question, but said: “To be frank, we are seeking to find a balance between action to suppress the virus and the protection of people’s jobs and livelihoods.

“If the Scottish Government had greater powers to borrow money, or the ability to extend the Job Retention Scheme, for example, it is possible that we could reach a different balance of judgment on some of these issues. But we don’t.”

Ms Sturgeon said the decision means they can “reduce the amount of time people are able to spend in licensed premises” – curtailing the spread of the virus – while still allowing businesses to trade.

What other rules are there?

Table service will continue to be required in all hospitality premises, the First Minister confirmed.

A maximum of six people from two households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants. Children under 12 from those two households do not count towards the limits.

Earlier this month, Ms Sturgeon also confirmed that face coverings are mandatory for both customers and staff in hospitality venues, except when eating and drinking. 

That means people entering venues or moving around/going to the toilet will need to cover up.

People in these venues should stay at least 1 metre apart from those outside their household.

You should stay seated, with no standing, queuing at bars or dancing. 

Singing and shouting are also banned. 

You should also limit the number of venues you visit in one day and supply your details to staff for Test and Protect purposes.

Could pubs be banned at some point?

The First Minister did warn about a potential ban on pubs if the rules are not followed. 

She said: “Notwithstanding the economic implications, further restrictions, including possible closure, will be unavoidable - locally or nationally - if the rules within pubs and restaurants on hygiene, face coverings, table service, maximum numbers in groups, and the distance between them are not fully complied with.

“I want to thank those businesses, I believe the majority, that are making huge efforts to ensure compliance.”

She added that the Scottish Government will be providing additional resources for Environmental Health Officers and asking local authorities to significantly step up inspection and enforcement on the rules.