Hospitality jobs in Scotland 'hanging in the balance'

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Hospitality jobs in Scotland 'hanging in the balance' as restrictions continue

Related tags Scotland Coronavirus

Hospitality jobs and livelihoods in Scotland are 'hanging in the balance' as businesses continue to face tight restrictions on trading with no certainty on when they may ease.

Nightclubs in Scotland were ordered to closed again on 27 December for at least a three week period, with licensed hospitality venues required to operate table service only.

All indoor hospitality settings must also ensure there is a one metre distance between groups of people who are attending together.

Fresh financial help worth £275m has been announced by the Scottish Government to help businesses impacted by the new restrictions, but UKHospitality warns that firms are yet to receive any support.

“Financial support for hospitality is yet to reach struggling businesses,” says Leon Thompson, UKHospitality Scotland’s executive director.

“Even when it does it will help with some immediate costs, but won’t save the struggling hospitality venues that so desperately need to trade at full capacity.

“Above all, those businesses need clarity on when restrictions will be lifted and recognition from the Scottish Government that future restrictions on hospitality are not the way out of the current phase of the pandemic.”

Yesterday (5 January), First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that people who test positive for Covid in Scotland will be allowed to exit self-isolation after seven days if they have no fever and record two negative lateral flow tests, bringing the country into line with the rest of the UK. 

Sturgeon told MSPs that no other changes will be made to Scotland's pandemic restrictions at this point, and they will remain in place until at least 17 January.

Thompson says the reduction will be welcomed by businesses that are able to trade, but that the ongoing measures mean operators will continue to suffer.

“With no easing of restrictions or reversal of closures until at least 17 January, this announcement leaves the future of jobs and livelihoods remain hanging in the balance.

“Christmas and Hogmanay were a write-off for many of our businesses. The ongoing uncertainty on how, or indeed if, sporting and business events can take place over coming weeks and months is now sapping business and consumer confidence further.

“If the uncertainty around restrictions continues, Easter bookings and trade will suffer, too, as holidaymakers from Scotland and the rest of the UK decide to travel elsewhere.”

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