Breaking news: Tier 4 lockdown for 11 council areas in Scotland from Friday

nicola sturgeon

All hospitality and tourism businesses must close from Friday 20th November until 11th December in City of Glasgow, East and West Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, North and South Lanarkshire, East and South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian as these council areas move to tier four.

Nicola Sturgeon said in the announcement to parliament that she hopes to ease restrictions over the Christmas period after what would be a ‘short and sharp’ level four move.

East Lothian and Midlothian will move from level three to level two from next Tuesday, with the remaining 19 council areas seeing no change.

In addition to the UK furlough scheme, all businesses that require to close, at any level, are eligible for a 4 weekly grant of £2000 or £3000, depending on rateable value. Grants of £1400 or £2100 are available to businesses that are open, but subject to trading restrictions.

Eligible businesses can apply for these grants now through their local authorities.

She also said she was establishing a £30 million discretionary fund to enable local authorities to provide additional support for businesses where they consider that necessary or justified – for example, for businesses in supply chains, and an additional £15m available for newly self-employed people who have not been able to access other forms of support.

An additional £15m available to local authorities to help with the community and social impact of a move to level 4.

More details of these funds will be made available shortly.

Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance said, “The First Minister’s announcement today that 11 of Scotland’s local authorities will move into Level 4 from Friday will be the final blow for many of Scotland’s tourism and hospitality businesses in these areas which have struggled to survive throughout this pandemic.

“The STA is fully supportive of the right measures to protect public health in the short and longer term balanced with policy to protect the needs of the economy, particularly the tourism sector which has undoubtedly been the hardest to be hit by the pandemic, however, the reality is that without a robust increase in funding support, businesses will continue to close.

“The news announced today that a £15m support fund will be offered to the newly self-employed will come as a relief to some in the tourism sector, however we await to see the finer detail of this.

“I am hopeful that given the conversations our Chair and I had with the First Minister last week and the acknowledgement by the FM of the severity of the impact on our sector, that a much needed increased targeted support package for tourism and hospitality businesses will be forthcoming in the coming days.

“It remains the case the current grant support available to the majority of businesses right across the sector in all tiers is still some distance from the level required to enable many to remain solvent and meet the costs of staying closed in the period ahead.  Without further specific and targeted support I fear will we be hearing of many more businesses not able to survive this ‘third winter’ and closing their doors for good.”

In the seven days up to Friday, Scotland as a whole had just over 140 new cases of Covid per 100,000 people and the First Minister said all of the areas moving to tier four were above that rate – ranging from West Lothian, which has 158 cases per 100,000, to Glasgow with 277.