RESTAURANTS and other hospitality venues are set to be allowed to reopen during the day across central Scotland from next week, as long as they do not sell alcohol.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Central Belt, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, is likely to move into level three of the new five-tier coronavirus lockdown system.

Much of the rest of Scotland could move into level two.

However Dundee could move into level three, while North and South Lanarkshire could see tough new restrictions under level four.

READ MORE: Businesses warn over Scotland’s new five-tier system of coronavirus restrictions

Which areas will be placed under which levels will be confirmed on Thursday.

The new system runs from level zero, which is as close to normal as it is possible to get without better treatment or a vaccine, to level four, which is closer to a full lockdown.

Under the new system set out by the Scottish Government, hospitality premises may sell alcohol indoors with a main meal up to 8pm at level two, enabling the service of an early evening meal.

At present, hospitality premises outside the central belt cannot serve alcohol indoors and must close indoors at 6pm.

At level three – equivalent to the current restrictions in the central belt – the current rules only allowing cafes will be removed, enabling all hospitality premises to operate in the daytime, up to 6pm, without the sale of alcohol.

Hotels and other accommodation will continue to be able to serve evening meals to residents.

The expansion of the hospitality provisions within the new levels system takes effect from Monday, November 2, and will be kept under review as the spread of the virus hopefully stabilises.

Ministers said the changes followed close engagement with the hospitality sector, and discussions are continuing.

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Rural Economy and Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “I understand that any restrictions are hard for business and I know that many will want us to go further, however, this is a proportionate relaxation of the current rules that will enable premises to serve evening meals and alcohol in level two, in addition to removing the distinction between cafés and other licensed premises at level three.

“We need to be very cautious at level three, to ensure that the restrictions in place contribute to reducing the spread of the virus, so that they can be lifted as soon as possible.

“I want to thank the sector for its constructive engagement over the weekend and commit to continuing these discussions as we go forward.”