With Euro 2020 set to kick-off on Friday pub bosses have been preparing their venues to make sure they are safe and following new guidelines.
A year after it was originally planned to take place the European Championships will begin on Friday evening.
After 23 years Scotland finally qualified for the tournament which will be played in stadiums across the continent.
Although hospitality venues are allowed to show the games the Scottish Government has issued guidelines for the tournament.
Hopes that premises do not face the backlash of celebrations
Stuart McPhee, the director of Siberia and the spokesman for the trade body Aberdeen Hospitality Together (AHT), said that his venue will be showing the games with no sound or commentary.
He explained: “We’re making sure we keep things as controlled as possible, we’ve made sure that everyone who comes in at the timeslot of a game knows the rules, as with everybody who comes to the venue knows the rules. So, no singing, no cheering, stay seated at the tables, order from the table and no wandering about.
“We hope that everybody continues to follow the guidelines that they have been following already and we can have a happy and peaceful time enjoying the tournament.”
Mr McPhee is hopeful that in the event of guests celebrating a goal there will be some understanding, especially during the Scotland v England match given the grandeur of the game.
“It may happen, there’s a certain degree of inevitability of the potential of celebrations in licenced premises and there shouldn’t really be any stigma or blowback on the licenced premises.” He added, “I can do everything I possibly can, but that doesn’t mean I can prevent something like this from happening.
“We do take our responsibility seriously, and we will do our level best to make sure all procedures are followed on the days where there’s big games.”
What are the guidelines?
Live sport can be shown on the premises, however, venues are not allowed to actively promote it or turn it into an ‘event’.
Fans may want to celebrate when goals are scored, but staff are expected to challenge customers who shout or sing.
Premises are expected to display clear signage to inform their guests what the standards of behaviour are.
David Robertson, team leader at environmental health, said: “We want all football supporters to enjoy Euro 2020 as safely as possible, so we’re issuing this advice to help hospitality owners understand the steps they need to take to ensure patrons can watch matches in safety.”
These specific rules are in addition to the guidelines that are already operating in hospitality venues which includes capacity limits, completing NHS Test and Protect upon entering the premises and maintaining physical distancing.
Bars and pubs must provide table service and customers should remain seated. Staff must also wear masks at all times and guests are expected to wear masks whenever they leave their table.
Superintendent Maggie Pettigrew, of the Highlands and Islands division, said: “Euro 2020 will be one of the most prestigious and high profile sporting events taking place across the continent this year, with 51 matches in 11 countries and a global viewing audience of around two billion people.
“We have a policing plan in place to ensure everyone is able to enjoy the tournament wherever they are watching and working with partners, including the council, to minimise disruption to our communities.
“Our officers join the rest of the country in wishing our national football team the best for what will undoubtedly be a first class sporting event.”