A PUB manager in Comrie said she's ready to open their beer garden as soon as they're allowed to do so.

Catherine Campbell, from The White Gates, admitted their hopes were dashed last week when the expected lifting of certain lockdown restrictions didn't come.

She said: "I thought we were going to be opening the beer garden from June 19 so we were totally gutted when the First Minister announced that wasn't going to happen.

"We know Scots love a pint and we were all prepared but these restrictions are to keep everyone safe so you can't really complain.

"We'll definitely open if they allow beer gardens, we're ready."

Catherine added: "Everything is in place. We've decorated the pub and tidied up the beer garden, we've got planters, gazebos and umbrellas, we've got signs up, one entrance and one exit, we'll have a system for the toilets too, we're just waiting for the go-ahead.

"I can't wait."

Prime Minister Boris Johnston announced on Tuesday that social distancing guidelines of two metres would be relaxed and that pubs and restaurants in England will be able to open from July 4.

The two-metres rule is still in place in Scotland though and Jeff Ellis, secretary of the Fife Licensed Trade Association, told the Press recently that, if it remained, many pubs were "not going to be viable" as their capacity would be cut by 50-75 per cent.

Catherine said: "That's a huge concern. You also couldn't have four or five staff behind the bar.

"We've got plenty of space. We could have four or five tables in the bar area, two metres apart, and do table service.

"The lounge is big too so we could get quite a few folk in there.

"I know they're relaxing the two-metres rule in England and if they did that here it'd be brilliant news for pubs in general and for us."

Whenever they open, it seems there's strong support for the local, and not just because they lifted spirits in April by giving away free beer.

That's shown by the backing for the White Gates through Budweiser's Save Pub Life scheme: the customer buys a £20 gift card for their local, the pub gets £40 as Budweiser doubles the value and the customer can spend the voucher when the pub opens up again.

Catherine said: "We've had lots of interest from customers and there's over £1,500 of vouchers been bought for the pub.

"It's absolutely amazing.

"The feedback we've had is that people are really keen for us to open again."

She added: "It's been very difficult financially, especially at the beginning as you had to apply for grants and it took a while for the furlough money to come through.

"It was very stressful but it's much more positive now. We just need to get a delivery, I think they start tomorrow (Friday) and we'd be good to open."