After North East Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles raised the issue in the Scottish Parliament yesterday, the First Minister has now agreed to allow all licenced cafes to remain open without selling alcohol.
After announcing the ban on central belt cafes, pubs and restaurants this Wednesday (7th Oct) the First Minister initially told Mr Rumbles that 'We have to take tougher measures in the central belt' but today while answering questions in the Scottish Parliament she backtracked, announcing that cafes would be allowed to operate as long as they did not sell alcohol.
Welcoming the announcement, Mr Rumbles said:
"I have argued that licenced cafes should be allowed to reopen if they voluntarily accept a ban on alcohol and concentrate on food and soft drinks. So, I am delighted that the First Minister has taken my suggestion on board and that these cafes can now remain open
"Hospitality businesses across the country are trying their very best to stay open while keeping people safe. A blanket ban is not the best way to do that and If there is a way to allow cafes to continue to operate safely then the Scottish Government has a responsibility to lift the restrictions and provide support where needed."