Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Law and licensing

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and guidance for current licence holders and new applicants for changes to our Licensing service.

Test and protect: multi-sector guidance on collection of customer and visitor contact details

The Scottish Government has published guidance for businesses to support the Test and Protect Scheme. 

The package includes privacy notices and posters in the supporting files for use in your business along with a longer guidance document which explains your role in Test and Protect.

Visit the Scottish Government websiteto find out more.

Updates on physical distancing

The Scottish Government have issued updates on the approach to physical distancing in Scotland as we move through the COVID-19 crisis:

Impact on licensing services

We would like to reassure customers that we are doing everything we can to reduce the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on our ability to deliver services.

We have therefore had to take a number of steps to ensure that we can deliver the Licensing Service while preventing further spread of the virus and protecting both employee and public health.

Public office closure

From Monday 23 March 2020, the reception at Council Headquarters, Kilmarnock was closed.

Outdoor sport guidance 

The Scottish Government has confirmed that it is changing exercise guidelines to allow participation in a variety of outdoor sports, where safe to do so, as part of the recently published route map out of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

The guidance will come into effect as soon as is practical and safe, from Friday 29 May onwards, and includes detailed information on areas such as social distancing when playing, access to facilities and general health and safety. Participants will be permitted to travel short distances from their local community and are encouraged to travel by foot, car or bicycle where possible. 

The latest sport-specific guidance can be found on the Sport Scotland website.

Licensing business

All staff who are fit for work will continue to carry out as many of the regular duties as possible, subject to the restrictions set out by the government. Staff will process licensing applications where possible and deal with enquiries by email.

No person to person meetings are currently being permitted, this includes Street Knowledge Tests that form part of the Taxi/Private Hire Car application process.

All Licensing Board meetings and Local Government Licensing Panel meetings have been postponed until further notice. Licensing staff will be in touch with applicants advising of revised dates when known.

Submitting applications


Applications for alcohol licences should be submitted by post, email or online.

Occasional licences for outside drinking areas

The Scottish Government has indicated that as part of Phase 2 of the relaxation of restrictions, pubs and restaurants can open outdoor spaces with physical distancing and increased hygiene routines.

At present the Scottish Government has not produced guidelines on how it anticipates premises will operate on that basis and an update will be provided as soon as such information is available.

Premises wishing to utilise an outside drinking area not already permitted as part of their Premises Licence, may apply to East Ayrshire Licensing Board for an occasional licence to cover the proposed area. The application should be accompanied by a plan showing the proposed area.

Civic, taxis and miscellaneous licensing

Applications should be submitted by post or email.

Please ensure that applications for alcohol licences and civic licences are completed in full, signed and copies (not originals) of the relevant documentation are submitted.

By post:

Licensing Service
East Ayrshire Council
Council Headquarters
London Road

By e-mail:

Scan the signed form and documents as PDF files and send an email to


You can pay the licence fee either by telephoning us with your card details or by posting a cheque.

Contact us

Licensing staff can be contacted by email at

All licence holders are encouraged to keep up-to-date with government guidelines and advice in respect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As the current situation develops it may be necessary for our working practices to change, however we aim to maintain a continuity of business as far as possible during these challenging times and we thank you for your support, co-operation and patience in helping us achieve that goal.

Public houses/restaurants offering takeaway service 

Many public houses and restaurants do not currently have planning permission to operate as takeaway premises selling food and drink for consumption outside the premises.  

Given the current situation however, it is vital that support is given to these businesses to allow them to maximise opportunities to maintain a revenue stream and avoid potential closure. Similarly, having local businesses providing takeaway services will enable members of the public to order goods and services with minimum exposure to risk of infection from coronavirus. 

The Scottish Government has stated that, during the current exceptional circumstances, planning authorities should not seek to undertake planning enforcement action which would result in unnecessarily restricting public houses and restaurants from providing takeaway services.

All of this will be reviewed after three months, and it would be the Scottish Government’s intention to withdraw it once the immediate urgency has passed.

Read further advice from Environmental Health

Retailer distribution restrictions relaxed to ease delivery pressures

Many supermarkets, other retailers and distribution centres are subject to controls which restrict deliveries from lorries and other delivery vehicles to set hours.   These include planning conditions, which are necessary to make the development acceptable to local residents who might otherwise suffer from traffic, noise and other local amenity issues as a result of these deliveries.     

Given the exceptional challenges facing the country from the coronavirus however, it is vital that deliveries of food and other essential products over the coming weeks can be made as quickly and safely as possible, minimising disruption to the supply chains on which our communities depend.   The likely pressures on driver capacity mean additional flexibility is needed so that retailers can accept deliveries throughout the day and night where necessary.   

The Scottish Government has written to all Scottish Local Authorities advising that these restrictions should be temporarily relaxed.  Read the letter (PDF 159Kb)  

Food premises changing to takeaways and delivery services

We understand that food premises may look to change their business model and diversify in order to maintain their business during this time. 

Read advice for food businesses (PDF 206Kb) that are looking to make provision for takeaways and deliveries where they have not done so before.

A food business will only be in a position do this if they are currently registered and risk rated with East Ayrshire Council’s Environmental Health or another local authority

Health protection regulations

The Health Protection (Coronavirus)(Restrictions)(Scotland) Regulations 2020 have been made in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of coronavirus in Scotland. These regulations detail businesses that are subject to restrictions or closure.

Two types of business that are licensed and regulated by East Ayrshire Council that are not detailed within the above legislation are Street Traders and Window Cleaners. Unless there is an amendment to the legislation to include these businesses, there is no legal obligation for these businesses to cease trading and there are currently no legal powers to enforce closure.

We would advise though that these businesses do not trade. However, if in the case of a Street Trader, the goods being offered for sale or delivery are providing a service to the elderly and those self isolating, licence holders should comply with the regulations and take all reasonable steps to ensure that a social distancing of two metres is maintained between anyone using the facility. Members of the public using the facility should also take reasonable steps to ensure the same social distancing of two metres from another person.

Police Scotland Officers and relevant East Ayrshire Council officers will be monitoring licence holders to ensure that this is being observed.

If there are further amendments to the legislation in respect of the above, a further update will be published.

If anyone has any concerns about the above businesses, please contact:

Contact Information

Council Headquarters
London Road
East Ayrshire
Contact us online:
Save time, do it online:
Telephone: 01563 554400
Textphone: 01563 576167
24 Hour Emergency Helpline: 0345 724 0000 (local rate)
Licensing Board Administration
London Road
East Ayrshire
Telephone: 01563 576005