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Glasgow City Council

City Services Group

As we all work together to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of changes have been made to the way Council Services are being delivered during this time. You can find the details on our COVID-19 webpage.

We understand that this is a difficult time for business but Glasgow City Council is committed to working with you to assist in the recovery and to return to a form of operation of your business while restrictions continue to be in place and the Scottish Government's phased approach to easing lockdown requires to be followed.

COP-26 Fringe Events

This November, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) will bring together participants and media from nations and territories around the world, offering a unique platform for businesses to showcase Glasgow's vibrant retail, events and hospitality sector. 

The official event will run from 31 October - 12 November 2021 at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) however venues across Glasgow and the central belt will also be used by organisations for COP26 related events.

Clearly, COVID-19 continues to be a global health issue and therefore it is a key priority for the city to host a responsible event, with organisers embedding robust measures into their plans to keep our city safe.

The COP26 site will be operating with a number of COVID-19 mitigations in place including; daily lateral flow testing, 1m physical distancing, enhanced cleaning protocols and enhanced ventilation.

The following criteria have been developed to mirror the mitigations that will be in place within the main event site.  It is strongly recommended that any organisation hosting an event during the COP26 period apply the criteria to their events;

  • Capacity management arrangements in place to prevent overcrowding
  • 1m physical distancing will be encouraged within enclosed spaces
  • Compliance with face covering requirements when indoors, queuing or moving through the event space
  • Ventilation will be maximised by opening marquee sides, planning outdoor activities etc. and improving ventilation within indoor spaces
  • Promotion of lateral flow tests prior in pre-event communications
  • Promote regular Lateral Flow testing amongst workforce in line with the current Scottish Government Testing Guidelines i.e. twice weekly
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols will be implemented
  • Hand sanitiser will be placed throughout the event site
  • Promotion of Check-in Scotland App on site to gather contact tracing information in areas where it is not a legal requirement 
  • Compliance with Scottish Government Vaccination Certification requirements as they may apply to the event

Guidance for Business

On 9th August, Scotland moved beyond Level 0. While all businesses are now permitted to reopen, a limited number of restrictions do remain in place and these are outlined in The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 The Scottish Government has produced updated guidance to assist businesses comply with the remaining restrictions.

If you would like advice on Covid-19 restrictions, please contact the Environmental Health team at

      External Areas

      If you do not currently have a permit to operate an external area and wish to apply you may do so on a temporary basis.

      If the external area is on a footpath or pavement then you will require to apply for a Section 59 Permit.

      The new streamlined process now allows for both an application for a temporary permit and for an Occasional Liquor licence in respect of an external area for existing licensed premises via the one form.

      To apply for a permit and occasional liquor licence in respect of an external area then please complete our online application form.

      If the external area is on any other land, you will be required to provide confirmation of the landowner's permission in writing.

      If you have an existing external area, located on a public footpath or pedestrianised precinct, and an existing Section 59 Street Café Permit (from prior to the pandemic or approved through the City Services process during the pandemic) you will be required to renew this. Glasgow City Council will require a covering letter, a copy of your proposed street café plan and a cheque for the relevant amount to be sent to "FAO Roadworks Control, Glasgow City Council, Eastgate, 727 London Road, Glasgow, G40 3AQ". The new costs for 2022/23 can be found in the NRS Book of Charges. Please note that there is a 50% reduction for 2022/23 meaning the charges is £281.50 for the City Centre and £150.50 for outwith the City Centre for the Section 59 Street Café Permit.

      A new condition will now be attached to the permit and this relates to the width of footpath available once your external area is in position.  If you cannot leave a width of 2m then it is necessary to revisit the size and location of the external area and you should get in touch via the contact form on this site.

      Note that the operation of the external area will be monitored for compliance and if found to be non-compliant with the permit conditions, licensing conditions (where appropriate) or any regulations associated with the COVID-19 legislation, we may rescind the permit and any licence revoked.

      The document pdf icon COVID-19 Re-opening Guidance for Pubs and Restaurants [260kb] includes information on the use of external areas which may be of assistance.

      If alcohol is to be sold and consumed in the external area, see part 5 of the pdf icon section 59 conditions [19kb] for information regarding licensing.

      Please note that 'A' boards on footways present obstructions for those with mobility issues and also for the visually impaired. We would remind you that these are not permitted on footways.

      You can find out more information on remote outdoor areas on our frequently asked questions page.


      If you already have a permit to operate an external area for existing licensed premises or where you have an external area on private land for existing licensed premises and the area is included within your premises licence then this will remain in place.  However, the maximum capacity of customers that can be accommodated within your external area is likely to be reduced in accordance with the Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): Tourism and Hospitality Sector Guidance (to follow).

      If you already have a permit to operate an external area for existing licensed premises or where you have an external area on private land for existing licensed premises and the area is usually covered by occasional licences you will automatically be granted an occasional licence without having to apply which will remain in effect for an extended period of 3 months. You will not require to pay a fee. The maximum capacity of customers that can be accommodated within your external area will be reduced in accordance with the Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): Tourism and Hospitality Sector Guidance (to follow).

      If you operate existing licensed premises and wish to apply for a new external area and require both a permit and an occasional licence, a new streamlined process allows you to apply for both via the one form

      If you operate existing licensed premises and wish to apply for an occasional licence for a new external area which does not require a permit, for example on a private car park or beer garden, an occasional licence application should be emailed to You will be required to provide evidence that you have permission to use the area. A fee is not required. If granted, the occasional licence will apply for an extended period of 3 months.

      An application form for an occasional licence can be found here. An occasional licence will only be granted for the sale of alcohol to be consumed within the external area, generally commencing no earlier than 11am and terminating no later than 10pm each day of the week. There may be cases where an earlier terminal hour will be applied.

      The licensing conditions associate with an occasional licence may be found here.

      All occasional licences for outdoor areas granted under these temporary arrangements will have effect until 30 September 2020. If, however, the operation of the external area is found to be inconsistent with one or more of the licensing objectives and the issues cannot be adequately resolved, the occasional licence may be revoked at any time by the Clerk to the Licensing Board.

      To find out more about licensing and the impact of COVID-19 please check .

      "Hybrid" premises and the reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants on 15 July 2020

      "Hybrid" premises in Glasgow are subject to a policy and condition that after midnight, alcohol shall only be sold ancillary to the provision of substantial forms of entertainment. Given that the Scottish Government route map indicates that indoor entertainment venues (which includes nightclubs and music venues) will not reopen before 23 July at the earliest, hybrid premises should not remain open beyond 12 midnight as they are not able to comply with the condition on their licence. This would also apply to those premises which have hours after 12 midnight for pre-booked functions.  

      In addition, the Licensing Board will generally not grant earlier daytime extended hours for hybrid premises.

      Plan for Spaces for People

      Temporary measures to provide additional space for physical distancing in public places for people to walk, wheel or cycle while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place are being introduced across the city. These may affect the operation of your business, even temporarily. Review our plans for Spaces for People here.

      Update from Glasgow Licensing Board 3 July 2020

      We are currently receiving a high number of complaints in relation to pubs, restaurants and bars across the city selling "take away" pints and other alcoholic drinks in plastic cups directly to members of the public using the off-sales facility on their premises licence.

      While the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 is silent in relation to the way in which alcohol is to be sold for off-sales,  experience to date has established that this type of sale is clearly inconsistent with the licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder and securing public safety in terms of the levels of street drinking and public urination which are being reported and observed as a direct consequence of such sales. The situation has now, sadly, become untenable and risks ruining the reputation of the vast majority of the city's responsible licensed trade.  

      We have been very supportive of efforts to keep the licensed trade in the city viable during this very challenging period. However, with the lifting of restrictions which will see the opening of external areas on 6 July and indoor areas shortly thereafter, as from Monday 6 July  the sale of alcohol directly to members of the public for consumption off the premises will be considered to be inconsistent with the licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder and securing public safety unless it is sold as part of a home delivery or sold as a pre-packaged, properly sealed product such as a bottle of wine or cans of beer.

      Any premises who continue with this practice will risk having any occasional licence for an external area being revoked and/or a premises licence review being submitted to the Licensing Board.

      Planning Guidance

      The use of any external areas is also governed by Planning legislation. You must also take cognisance of the guidance in relation to this following pdf icon Planning Measure During Business Re-Opening document [78kb].


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