An expected influx of thirsty Dundonians searching for a pint has left Angus pubs facing a quandary.
More stringent level three measures began in Dundee from midnight with all hospitality premises no longer being able to operate outdoor alcohol licenses.
As a result, Angus publicans are facing the same moral dilemma that Dundee premises faced last month, when visitors from the Central Belt travelled to venues including Dynamo, on Union Street, to evade lockdown measures.
Venues in Carnoustie and Birkhill said they “anticipate” people living in Dundee will attempt to cross the fine line between levels three and two.
The Birkhill Inn, situated very close to a sign outdoors saying ‘Welcome to Dundee’, has issued a plea online asking people to be responsible.
However, staff member, Emma Barker, admitted it was going to be difficult to police.
“We anticipate this will happen, so we took the opportunity to stress that people should know the rules and regulations, and not travel between level three to level two areas,” she said.
“If people phone up to book and tell us they are from Dundee, we’ll apologise and say we can’t take the booking.
“However, for track and trace we can’t take addresses, only names and phone numbers.
“We are trying our hardest to try and get people to not cross the levels but there are lots of people who don’t bother with the rules.
“Likewise, we’ve had some backlash online from people who don’t understand that DD postcodes aren’t necessarily Dundee.
“We’re licensed through Angus Council and our bins are emptied by Angus Council. It’s quite a difficult situation but we are trying to do the best we can.
“We’re a small family run business – we’re not part of a big chain – and we’re trying to stay afloat during a difficult time.”
Kevin Liddell, licensee of the Crown in Monifieth, which is currently closed, revealed his wife, Jackie, was “concerned” about how the situation would play out for her premises, the Stag’s Head Inn in Carnoustie.
The beer garden at the Angus public house has proven popular in recent weeks with local punters.
Kevin revealed people have still been travelling to the area from Lanarkshire and Glasgow whilst staying in hotels nearby.
He added: “We have been discussing the level three measures over the weekend. It is a concern and it does put our staff in a very difficult position on how we deal with this.
“We are going to monitor the situation, we really don’t want to alienate people from coming to the venue.
“Given the current measures we can only accommodate around 30 folk whilst adhering to the distancing rules.
“However, customers only have to give us a telephone number and a name so people can easily lie to us about where they are from.”
The new measures have placed businesses in a difficult situation as they look to run a successful operation during these very challenging times.
He added: “In all honestly it is a catch-22 for us, we want the business to make money – given how badly the industry has been battered over recent month’s.
“At the same time we don’t want to invite anyone and everyone in and the venue ends up getting shut as result due to positive cases.
“The situation at the moment is we really are going to have to gauge how it goes – particularly at the weekend.
“We have discussed the prospect that we may have to start asking for postcodes.”
“One thing I can assure you is that our staff will continue to ensure all distancing measures will be upheld.”
Meanwhile, Bob and Marie Moncur, owners of the Gauldry Inn in Newport-on-Tay, say they would easily spot an unusual face.
Bob said: “We would recognise anyone coming across from Dundee, but I can see people trying to go to pubs in Newport.
“We are doing main meals with drinks but not outside – our back garden just took off with the wind last night.
“If people do try to come we’ll be saying, sorry, but you have to leave.
“We’ve even told regular customers not to bring family members across. We’ve had an open discussion about it.”