Pubs, bars and nightclubs will be able to open later during the festive period after a general licence extension was granted.
The SIC’s licensing board approved the motion today (Monday) to apply during the fortnight between Saturday18th December and Sunday, 2nd January.
During this time, all licensed premises will be able to open until 2am. All nightclubs already permitted to open until 3am on weekends will be able to do so on weekdays too.
The board has granted a similar extension most years since 2009, except for 2010-2012, and last year due to the pandemic.
Member for Shetland West Catherine Hughson, proposed the motion, saying “we are in a very different place to where we were last year”.
She said licensed premises had been open for several months since the easing of restrictions and highlighted the potential economic benefit.
Convener Malcolm Bell, who seconded the motion, said that not allowing premises to stay open would only encourage people to congregate in houses where “all the evidence shows there’s more danger”.
“Whether the premises concerned can find the staff to actually open is perhaps another issue,” he said.
Mr Bell had also asked for confirmation that the regular Covid measures would remain in place throughout the longer opening hours.