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Coronavirus: Pubs and bars dismayed at continued lockdown


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Coronavirus: Pubs and bars dismayed at continued lockdown

Image copyright Steve Houldsworth Pub and restaurant operators have expressed dismay at the Scottish government’s decision to keep outdoor areas at venues closed for at least another two weeks.The sectors had hoped to be included on Thursday in phase two of the route map out of the coronavirus crisis.But the first minister said a two-week…

Coronavirus: Pubs and bars dismayed at continued lockdown

Botanics tea gardenImage copyright
Steve Houldsworth

Pub and restaurant operators have expressed dismay at the Scottish government’s decision to keep outdoor areas at venues closed for at least another two weeks.

The sectors had hoped to be included on Thursday in phase two of the route map out of the coronavirus crisis.

But the first minister said a two-week review will be conducted into how venues can open outdoor spaces safely.

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association said it was “bitterly disappointed”.

SLTA managing director Colin Wilkinson said: “With the decision now delayed until 2 July, operators face another anxious period for the survival of their businesses.

“This may also have a knock-on effect for the reopening of indoor areas, originally planned – all being well – for 15 July.

“This delay, hypothetically only two weeks before full reopening, may be possible with social distancing measures.

“It again brings into question whether these first steps, for those who have an outdoor area or the potential to have one, will actually help businesses to start recovering from this pandemic.”

He added: “Without question, health and safety must come before profit but the first minister’s comment that ‘there is emerging evidence that places such as pubs, restaurants and gyms can be hotspots for transmission’ will do nothing to alleviate customer confidence in returning to our pubs and bars.”

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Dominic Martin

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Glasgow’s Rotunda restaurant said it was disappointed at the announcement

Glasgow’s Rotunda restaurant, which has been planning to create the city’s “biggest beer garden”, said the delay was “a massive blow” to the industry.

Owner Tony Carbajosa said: “Naturally we are a little disappointed with today’s announcement.

“We understand safety comes first but what our industry needs is support and to be included in conversations about when reopening can happen.

“It’s vital the Scottish government show both the consumer and business owners that they have confidence in the measures we are taking in trying to reopen our venues.”

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PA Media

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No decision has yet been made on when pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen

The Scottish Tourism Alliance said many hotels, pubs and restaurants would be “bitterly disappointed” at being left out.

Chief executive Marc Crothall said: “Having a chance to get some revenue coming in to offset the huge burden of costs that have had to be borne over the past 12 weeks would have provided some welcome relief for many.

“The 2 July date, however, will allow time for operators to become 100% familiar with the sector guidance and protocols for reopening which will be published later today and to plan and prepare for opening outside areas safely and for those that can be ready for full opening we hope on 15 July.”

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In announcing the second phase, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she understood the desire of all businesses to reopen quickly, but it was vital that they do so “safely and in a way that is consistent with continued suppression of the virus”.

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