First minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that Covid-19 restrictions, which saw the closure of pubs and restaurants in Scotland’s central belt and a 6pm hospitality curfew elsewhere, are to be extended until 2 November.
The Scottish government is set to publish a tiered system of restrictions tomorrow (23 October), similar to the system already in effect in England, which will come into effect on 2 November.
Originally, the restrictions put in place two weeks ago on hospitality businesses were due to end on 26 October.
Sturgeon said: “The extension allows us to transition more smoothly to the new levels system that we hope will be introduced on November 2.
“I know all of this is really unwelcome and I know that these restrictions are harsh.They are harsh financially for many individuals and businesses, and they are harsh emotionally for all of us.”
She added: “I want to stress again that none of these decisions are being taken lightly – this is all about trying to save lives and minimise the health damage that we know this virus is capable of doing.”
Willie Macleod, UKHospitality’s executive director for Scotland: “This is another catastrophic blow for Scottish hospitality. It is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to keep pace with the constant change in the restrictions they are operating within.
“Many of these businesses are barely hanging on. They have had their revenue strangled or shut off altogether and many will have little or no cash in reserve. Extending the restrictions for another week could finish off those businesses that had just about managed to formulate a plan to see them
through the initial lockdown.”
He added: “The support on offer isn’t going to be enough to save the sector. The £40m announced by the Scottish Government was intended to cover a 16-day period to 25 October. That sum was inadequate when it was announced and it is only going to be diluted further.