First Minister for Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has indicated that the Chancellor’s “eat out to help “ scheme to get people back into pubs and restaurants with discounted meals may have helped spread the coronavirus.
In a TV interview the first Minister commented about the rise of coronavirus cases in Scotland and other parts of the UK, and said: “I think with hindsight we can say all sorts of things, maybe it would have been better if it hadn’t happened.
“I know that that scheme was about trying to incentivise people to help the economy, and we adding “Obviously we’ve got university clusters just now but in recent weeks we’ve got two key drivers, and it’s about the people coming together in people’s houses, which is why in Scotland we’re asking people not to visit other people’s houses right now and that’s really difficult, but also in hospitality settings, where people are coming together and mingling.”
In September Chancellor Rishi Sunak denied his Eat Out to Help Out scheme had made the pandemic worse, calling the accusation “simplistic”. Speaking at a press conference the Chancellor said that the UK was “following similar paths” to other European nations.
“So I think it’s probably simplistic to look at any one thing.What’s happening here is similar to what’s happening in many other countries,”
“There are lots of things going on at the same time towards the last few weeks and as we get into a season for respiratory illnesses so there’s going to be lots of different factors at play as to why the virus is acting in the way it is.
“But more broadly I don’t think it’s the wrong thing for the Government or indeed people to want to try and get their lives back to normal.”