Coronavirus

Pubs and restaurants in central Scotland to close

Pubs and restaurants across Scotland’s central belt, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, are set to close as part of new measures targeted at preventing the increase of Covid-19 cases in the area.

In other parts of the country, pubs and restaurants can remain open but can only sell alcohol outdoors.

The new rules will be in effect from 6pm on 9 October until 25 October and will impact 3.5 million people.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the measures were ‘‘intended to be short, sharp action to arrest a worrying increase in infection’’.

Willie Macleod, UKHospitality’s executive director for Scotland, said: ‘‘Forced closures will spell the end for many, many venues which have no cash flow and will have exhausted their reserves. Severe restrictions to those businesses not forced to close will amount to a closure for many. 

‘‘It is likely to be the final straw for many that were only just hanging on. We are going to see businesses fold and many jobs lost. The First Minister stated that hospitality was by far the most impacted of sectors and we now need urgent confirmation of the details of the support package and how it will be applied.’’

He added: ‘‘Without detail, it looks as though the £40m announced by the First Minister will not nearly be sufficient to support the sector. Any support to underwrite furlough will have to go far beyond the Job Support Scheme, which seems unlikely to be taken up by many hospitality businesses.

‘‘We also need a route map for those businesses in the five health board areas across the central belt forced to close. We must have a clear plan for their reopening. We cannot afford to be left in limbo.’’

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