Outside drinking areas for Licensed Premises

With regard to the operation of outside drinking areas for sale of alcohol, all four Divisional Licensing Boards in Dumfries and Galloway must satisfy themselves that Occasional licence applications for outside drinking areas provide assurance that the terms of the Scottish Government Sectoral Guidance and legal provisions on Coronavirus transmission prevention can be met.


To meet its obligations, each Licensing Board will require the submission of the following documents if you wish to operate an outside drinking area:


All four documents must be submitted with £10 statutory fee payable to licensing@dumgal.gov.uk.

Conditions to attach to Occasional licences in respect of Outside Drinking Areas

In addition to the national mandatory conditions that must be attached to Occasional licences in law, the following is a list of example additional conditions that may be attached to your application for an outside drinking area:

  1. The licensed area (outside drinking area) delineated on the attached plan must be clearly defined and enclosed by suitable barriers (if needed) and controlled so that no drinks consumed on the premises are permitted to be taken from it ;
  2. All street furniture including tables and chairs must be removed from the street (if relevant) in accordance with the relevant Road Occupation Permit approved hours of operation and be put in storage no later than 10.30pm each day;
  3. At least one designated member of staff must: (i)  monitor the outside drinking area at least once per hour ; (ii) supervise admissions to the outside drinking area and (iii) monitor occupant capacity to ensure that it does not exceed the maximum occupancy stated in the licence;
  4.  All patrons in the outside drinking area must be seated at tables;
  5. The outside drinking area must be regularly serviced and  be kept clear of empty receptacles, unattended glassware and all refuse removed.
  6. No alcohol consumed in the outside drinking area is to be removed from that outside drinking area with the exception of staff carrying out their duties;
  7. The licence holder must ensure that all litter/refuse is removed at the end of the trading day and placed in suitable bins;
  8. As the outside drinking area can be a source of noise nuisance for neighbouring businesses and residences, the licence holder must ensure that noise is kept to a minimum level at all times;
  9. The layout of the outside drinking area must reflect that stipulated in the layout plan and
  10. The outside drinking area must be operated in accordance with UK and Scottish Government legislation, regulations and guidance relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic whether relating to the protection of public health, restrictions of social gatherings, requirement for social distancing or otherwise.

Licences can only be granted from the date on which the Scottish Government advise that such areas can operate.

Premises with an existing outside drinking area already

For those premises that currently have an outdoor area as part of their premises licence,  licence holders should also complete the above risk assessment and checklist to ensure that they have a written policy in place with regard to social distancing, increased hygiene measures and other COVID-19 mitigating measures.

The Licensing Team will deal with your application as soon as it can - it is hoped that applications can be turned around following receipt within 7 days.

Scottish Government Toilet Guidance

The Scottish Government has published its Guidance in relation to public toilet use. This use includes customer toilets in licensed premises:

If you have any queries in relation to the use of toilets in licensed premises, please contact tradingstandards@dumgal.gov.uk

Scottish Government Physical Distancing Update

On 2 July 2020, the First Minister announced possible relaxation of the 2 metre distancing rule for certain sectors (including hospitality).

Whilst the law remains 2 metres, in certain circumstances 1 metre may be permitted if mitigation measures are put in place to minimise the risk of spread of COVID-19.

The current identified date for possible relaxation of the 2 metre distancing rule is when phase 3 of the Scottish Government's route map commences.

For more information please click on the following link:

If you require further general assistance/guidance, please email licensing@dumgal.gov.uk or call 01776 888429.

Scottish Government Tourism and Hospitality Guidance

Scottish Government and Tourism Hospitality Guidance - last updated on 10 July 2020 - may be found on the following link:

It is strongly recommended that you read this Guidance carefully and are fully aware of your obligations contained within it - whether you are operating an outside drinking area, inside drinking area or both.

Your attention is also drawn to the paragraph 'Collecting Customer Contact Details' which gives rise to possible registration with the Information Commissioner's Office. It is recommended that you also display the various Hospitality Posters contained in this part of the Guidance.

It is your duty as a licence holder to ensure that you are fully aware of your legal obligations and terms of the Scottish Government Guidance with regard to the operation of your licensed premises.

The revised Scottish Government Checklist (which includes additional mitigating measures hospitality businesses should put in place to seek to use the 1 metre exemption physical distancing rule) may be found on the following link:

This Checklist should be read in conjunction with the Scottish Government Tourism and Hospitality Guidance on the above link.