Many pubs and restaurants will struggle to break even owing to reduced capacities and rules that "don't make sense", hospitality chiefs have warned.

One pub chief said he can open only a third of his venues at a fraction of their total capacity, and that many owners are having "sleepless nights".

From today in Scotland, pubs, cafes and restaurants can reopen outdoors, serving alcohol to groups of up to six from as many households.

Indoor service is restricted to groups of up to six from up to two households until 8pm, but no alcohol can be served inside.

Nic Wood, director of the Signature Pubs group, which has 24 venues and employs more than 700 staff across the country, criticised the logic around some of the rules.

READ MORE: Scottish wedding rules: Caterers hit with marquee ban that doesn't apply to pubs and restaurants

He also voiced concern that health inspectors responsible for policing the Covid-compliance of venues are now scrutinising "around 10 different points we didn't consider last year".

Mr Wood said: "They say the rules haven't changed, but the people who police it are looking at different aspects, which means it has."

The Scottish Hospitality Group said an official document has raised fears that the rules have been extended, and Mr Wood said the industry still does not have full clarity over inspections, which is "adding to the stress".

Also from Monday, up to 50 people can socialise indoors for weddings, funerals and receptions with alcohol served.

Mr Wood said: "The logic defies me ... you can have 50 people inside drinking and eating until 10pm for weddings - which is great - but you don't trust people to have a bottle of wine indoors with their meal?

"That to me just doesn't make sense.

"Why on earth have we got to clear people out at 8pm indoors? The staff have to stay on until 10pm to serve people outdoors, the chefs are already cooking for the area.

"I genuinely believe if we were listened to these things could be ironed out.

"Understanding how business works needs to be more of a priority for the Government - it generates jobs, money, and taxes.

"The quicker we can get back, the quicker they can tax us and we can rebuild our economy."

It came after outcry from businesses showing official diagrams illustrating table sizes of 3.5 metres by 2 metres to seat six people. However First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "The requirements for physical distancing in hospitality have not changed from the the guidance previously."

Stephen Montgomery, for the Scottish Hospitality Group, said: "Hospitality staff are working at a frantic pace to get themselves out of hibernation and ready for next week.

"Many premises will still be shut though and it's an uncertain future even for those who can reopen.

"We urge the Government to keep supporting viable but vulnerable businesses and to tweak the tiers in line with advice from those who really understand the industry."

Mr Wood said his Cold Town House bar in Edinburgh can normally hold 350 people, with 100 on its roof terrace - but now its capacity will be reduced to just 50 because of the rules.

Only seven out of the 21 pubs in his group are reopening from Monday.

He added: "So many people in this business are having sleepless nights.

"Every single person in the pub industry in Scotland is now in debt or in a much worse position; grants haven't even remotely covered the hole the hospitality industry is in."

Standard Life Aberdeen to change name

EDINBURGH-based financial services giant Standard Life Aberdeen has today announced it plans to change its name to "Abrdn".

HeraldScotland: Picture: Gordon TerrisPicture: Gordon Terris

READ MORE: It says that the new name will be pronounced “Aberdeen” and "will be part of a modern, agile, digitally-enabled brand that will also be used for all the company's client-facing businesses globally".

Scottish law firm unveils raft of promotions

HeraldScotland: Clockwise from top left: Matt Phillip, Kevin Clancy, Nigel Sievwright, Peter Alderdice, Vikki Henderson and Fraser GrantClockwise from top left: Matt Phillip, Kevin Clancy, Nigel Sievwright, Peter Alderdice, Vikki Henderson and Fraser Grant

SCOTTISH firm Shepherd and Wedderburn has promoted four of its lawyers to partner and two to legal director.

READ MORE: The promotions, which include three lawyers who began with the firm as trainees, will take effect from May 1.

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