An open letter to the First Minister from Stephen Montgomery – spokesperson Scottish Hospitality Group

The Scottish licensed trade warned the Scottish Government that banning music would push people to house parties, effectively a displacement of risk, and that it would cause a spike in positive cases.  We have asked for the evidence to show the ratio of positive cases which have arisen from house parties, against those from our sector, but have not received any information. We also warned on the impact students returning to university would have.

Now we have a curfew. To say it worked in Belgium doesn’t wash. We are all different, act in different ways.

The latest curfews for some will be the  final nail in the coffin for many businesses. The new regulations now mean that hotels can’t even serve residents a drink after 10pm, but instead have to ask them to retire to their rooms Or a lounge separate from the bar? What effect is that going to have on hotels now for bookings? Nobody wants to go away for a nice weekend and be told to go to bed! Late night venues are now effectively closed, again with no financial support.

Operators have spent millions of pounds in making their places safe, with apps, staff training, signage, adverts, media and lots more, and still the industry gets punished and vindicated.

We understand that health must come before profit, and with the track and trace system in place, we are an integral part in this. No business should be forced down a road of financial ruin without some kind of compensation.

The Scottish Government need to talk to us and listen to us – the trade – and ask us what impact a decision will have, before that decision is made to allow us to help with the solution.

Speak to us and include us in the decision making process. We are a vital part of the solution in helping to control this virus

The licensed trade will do everything that the Scottish Government asks of them, but we need to be met half way with financial support and we need to have input.

Lastly, if hospitality is such an issue, show us the evidence, and let us help minimise the risk

 

S Montgomery

Townhead Hotel
Townhead Street
Lockerbie
DG11 2AG

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