Extension of vaccine passports ‘will sound death knell for Scottish hospitality’

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Extension of vaccine passports ‘will sound death knell for Scottish hospitality’

Related tags Scotland Coronavirus Night time economy

Scotland’s hospitality trade bodies have released joint survey results highlighting the ‘impossible financial situation’ that an extension of vaccine certification would put the sector in.

Currently, so-called 'vaccine passports' are only required in nightclubs but there are fears Holyrood might extend this to other parts of the hospitality sector. 

A survey of more than 150 business owners by bodies including the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) and UKHospitality found that 76.2% of businesses believe they would not survive the winter without further Government support should the use of ‘vaccine passports’ be extended to the wider sector. 

In addition, the joint survey found that if vaccine certification was extended to wider hospitality 95.4% of respondents say would have to cut staff hours (if trade reduced as expected).

The survey also found that 95.2% of the businesses already impacted by the policy say trade has been negatively impacted and that 87.2% have seen trade reduced by over 20% since the introduction of the scheme. Less than 1% say business has been unaffected.

In a joint statement, the trade bodies said:

“From this survey it is clear to see that Scotland’s hospitality sector is in a precarious situation, making the recovery period all the more important. Four out of Five (83.6%) businesses are significantly below pre-pandemic levels and with inflation, debt levels and other costs rising, the sector is facing a very difficult winter ahead.”

“The survey also shows that covid certification has a hugely negative impact on businesses already caught by the policy and any extension will have a devastating impact on the wider hospitality sector. Three quarters (76.2%) say they would not survive without further economic support from Government, should the policy be extended.”

Last month,​ data from the NTIA revealed that trading levels for Scotland’s night-time economy have been decimated during the first week of the country’s  ‘vaccine passport’ scheme.

According to the research, nightclub trade levels dropped by almost half (46%), with some reporting declines in excess of 60% compared to previous weeks.

The 46% decline in trade for nightclubs would represent lost income of £506,000 per year per venue on average if the scheme continues, the NTIA claims.

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