Hospitality operators in Scotland have called on the Scottish Government to rethink unfair restrictions being placed on businesses.
Over 60 of Scotland’s leading hospitality bosses have written to the First Minister highlighting the devastating impact of the unjust measures which are threatening the existence of businesses and putting jobs at risk.
Businesses in level 4 regions have been forced to close and have no certainty over the future, while the crippling restrictions in levels 2 and 3 effectively imposes venue closures.
This is despite there being scant evidence to suggest that hospitality is responsible to any material extent for transmission of COVID-19, after businesses invested considerable time and money to make their venues safe. A recent YouGov poll showed that the British public finds it easier to socially distance in hospitality premises, compared to other public settings.
The letter calls on the Scottish Government to prioritise:
- A responsive review of levels and restrictions, with levels reviewed weekly in December
- Recompense for restrictions – adequate financial support to cover closure costs and restriction compliance, to avoid mass closures and job losses
- Delivering a route to revival by extending the business rate waiver and VAT cut across 2021/2022.
UKHospitality Executive Director for Scotland Willie Macleod said: “The restrictions being imposed upon hospitality businesses in Scotland are unfair, unjustified and squeezing the remaining life out of our sector.
“There’s no credible evidence that hospitality is a leading culprit in COVID transmission. Businesses have poured money into venues to make them safe and, overwhelmingly, the public feels confident in the steps that they have taken.
“Our sector wants to be at the heart of the Scottish Government’s plans to tackle COVID, by supporting communities socially and economically. Businesses can only do that if they are allowed the flexibility they need to survive.”