Re-assess the ban on background music in Scottish Hospitality Venues.

Re-assess the ban on background music in Scottish Hospitality Venues.

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Stacks Bistro started this petition to Scottish Government (SNP/Nicola Sturgeon)

Hospitality is suffering in silence

On 14.08.20 the Scottish Government instigated a blanket ban on background music in Hospitality Establishments across Scotland. The idea is that louder environments increase shouting and this moves droplets further.

However...months down the line, hospitality venues are all still being tarred with the same brush. There's a vast difference between a crowded, licensed sports bar playing the Football at full volume and a small family run café serving tea, looking to play low-level Michael Bublé (other cheesy Christmas artists are available). 

The way it stands means that the "Statutory Guidance" on background music is not written in Law. The government website states that hospitality venues are required by law to have regard to the guidance. This is not the same as a legal obligation.

Unsurprisingly some Hospitality venues are choosing to ignore the ban while others obey the rules. The rule-breakers end up with a better atmosphere and more customers, while the businesses who chose to obey, lose out.  

Our humble request is that the SNP look closer at the guidance; breaking the rules down further within the sector. This would mean that the smaller cafes and resteraunts would be able to operate safely and within the rules, while still providing an enjoyable atmosphere for their guests. No-one wants to discuss their lives with a friend in a room as silent as a library.

Naturally as the quieter season approaches and footfall decreases, the lack of low level background music is having an even bigger negative impact. We have also noticed our customers leaning into each other to talk, rather than sitting apart, to avoid being over heard. Surely this deems a higher risk than background music!

The Scottish Government stated on their website in August that they "will work with industry on this issue and it will be kept under review" . We have seen no evidence of review since then. If this is not reviewed soon, many small Hospitality businesses will soon have to close the doors and be silent forever. 

We thank you in advance for your signature and support. 

Rebecca & Teresa Wymer - Stacks Bistro - John O'Groats 

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