First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will announce later today if Scotland will follow England by making it illegal for more than six people to gather in pubs, restaurants and households in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus.
The restrictions will be introduced in England from Monday 14th September and Sturgeon said in her latest Covid-19 briefing that she was “likely to take a very cautious approach” as the latest figures showed the average number of cases being reported over the past seven days had increased to 155 a day, up from 52 a day three weeks ago. Two deaths from COVID-19 in Scotland were recorded in Glasgow City, and a death further in Aberdeen City since the start of September.
Speaking yesterday she said,“We can’t rule out the need to make changes to the number of people allowed to gather together like those that were announced for England.”
“We’re carefully reviewing existing guidance and regulation, as well as considering what new steps may be necessary to keep Covid under control.”
“Scotland is at a very dangerous point”.
Trade bodies are now urging the UK government to extend the furlough scheme and business rates relief in light of the new restrictions.
Said British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin, “At such a delicate point in our recovery after a steady start this summer, as we head into autumn and winter where we expect trade to already slow down, this is very concerning.
“With the announcements made pubs and breweries will need much more support from the government if they are to survive. An extension on business rates relief, continuation of the VAT cut to food and soft drinks, a sector specific furlough extension and a significant beer duty cut are needed now.”