Scottish licensed trade operators are questioning why Glasgow Life is being permitted to set up a 6,000-capacity fan zone in Glasgow Green for the Euro 2020 football tournament with trade group the SLTA saying the move “adds insult to injury” while Glasgow remains “in limbo” at level three with hospitality premises restricted to only serving alcohol outdoors.
Commenting after Nicola Sturgeon said today that there are “some signs for cautious optimism” that the Covid outbreak in Glasgow is stabilising, SLTA media spokesman Paul Waterson said: “That the situation is looking more positive is, of course, to be welcomed, particularly if the First Minister announces on Friday that Glasgow can move into level two.
“But there is intense anger among licensed hospitality trade operators in the city that 6,000 people are to be permitted to converge on Glasgow Green and buy alcohol in what we understand will be tented areas when many pubs that have followed the guidelines and invested in all the tools to stop the spread of the virus and operate in a safe and controlled environment are sitting shut.
“I cannot underestimate the level of rage there is about this – my phone has been ringing off the hook with publicans asking me to explain why this is allowed to happen when they are languishing in limbo. Can’t the Government and Glasgow City Council see that this is adding insult to injury? People are understandably upset.”
Mr Waterson added: “While we appreciate the approval is provisional at this stage there is a fear that an event of this size and scale will take business away from the licensed trade operators who pay their rates year in, year out and have been absolutely hammered over the last 14-15 months and who are waiting patiently to move into level two so they can serve their customers indoors.
“Obviously we are delighted that Scotland have qualified for Euro 2020 and will be playing at Hampden but there must be a level playing field for the licensed hospitality trade operators in the city.”