Current Curry Restaurant of the Year Radhuni, in Loanhead, and Itihaas in Dalkeith are due to re-open indoors on July 15 and 20 respectively. Both restaurants are owned by the same family.

On Thursday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it would be appropriate for the two metre physical distancing rule to be eased for outdoor and indoor hospitality from July 10. The hospitality industry has been lobbying hard for the two metre restriction to be cut.

Habibur Khan, managing partner of Radhuni, which will open its outdoor dining garden, The Sanctuary, next Tuesday after installing a glass roof, commented: “It seems the Scottish Government is heeding restaurant owners’ warnings that the two metre rule would mean further economic hardship for the sector. We look forward to seeing this confirmed so we can finalise preparations to welcome back customers.

Outdoor restaurants in Scotland can open from Monday (July 6).

Radhuni has an indoor capacity of 120 and Itihaas, which does not have an outdoor dining area, a maximum of 80. Under present Government restrictions their capacity would be halved.

Multi award-winning Itihaas is opening slightly later than its sister restaurant will do indoors because of the need to complete arrangements to ensure customers can dine in complete safety, Mr Khan added.

Itihaas is a previous winner of the titles of Scotland’s top curry restaurant, Curry Chef of the Year and best South Asian restaurant