UKHospitality has warned the Scottish Government’s plan for restarting the economy in Scotland is likely to result in business failures and lost jobs. It has voiced its concern that plans to reopen hospitality and tourism businesses in Scotland have been drawn up arbitrarily, with no consultation with the sector and little forethought for the impact on hospitality businesses.
Its comments come following the publication of the Scottish Government’s route map in which the plan outlines a gradual approach to easing lockdown through four flexible phases, reviewed every three weeks.
According to the plan, hospitality businesses with outdoor spaces will be permitted to reopen at Phase 2 of the plan, but those without will not be able to until Phase 3.
UKHospitality Executive Director for Scotland, Willie Macleod said, “We are seriously concerned that the Scottish Government’s plan for reopening will do more harm than good. It appears not to be based in any logic and has the potential to create a two-tier sector with many already-hammered businesses being left behind.
“Reopening hospitality businesses should be phased according to agreed protocols to ensure healthy, hygienic and safe spaces for staff members and tourists. The Scottish Government’s plans rests on whether businesses have an outdoor space or not; not whether they are able to operate safely with social distancing guidelines in place. Subjecting businesses that do not have outdoor spaces but could operate perfectly safely to further forced closure is illogical and will do serious harm.
“Hospitality and tourism businesses in Scotland have already been hammered by this crisis and most will have had no revenue for over three months. Many businesses have also struggled to access financial support and the larger businesses have been denied grant support altogether. The reality is that some businesses will not survive this crisis. The Scottish Government’s plan for reopening must ensure that every single business is given the best possible chance to survive. The route map announced does not do this.