UKHospitality has reiterated the need for a continued financial support for Scotland’s hospitality businesses and a clear plan for recovery, following a statement today which confirmed there would be no easing of restrictions in the short term.
The First Minister today confirmed there would be no easing of current restrictions before the end of February at the earliest and would remain unlikely until a critical mass of the population was vaccinated; a sustained reduction in new infections, hospitalisations and deaths was achieved; and more known about new virus variants.
Any easing of restrictions would not be accompanied by relaxation in social distancing, face coverings and other mitigations; and there would also be a clear discouragement of foreign holidays.
Following the statement, UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director Willie Macleod said: “Today’s statement by the First Minister was not surprising, but it was still disappointing for a sector in turmoil. Despite mounting evidence that hospitality businesses are not a major source of infection, the pathway for reopening the sector is no clearer.
“We appreciate that it is not possible for the Scottish Government to give a definitive date upon which businesses may be able to reopen, but we do need to have some understanding of the circumstances which might permit it. Businesses need to plan for their recovery.
“With no easing of restrictions likely to happen soon, support for businesses must be sustained. Many businesses will not be able to survive much longer without substantial financial support. Each business that fails means more jobs lost in Scotland and the task of recovery made all the more difficult.