SHG still waiting for ScotGov evidence justifying hospitality lockdown

Stephen Montgomery

The Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG) is still waiting for a response to its Scottish Government freedom of information request sent on 4 November asking for the evidence justifying the restrictions on hospitality during Covid-19.

SHG wants  ‘records relating  to the scientific, statistical, or medical evidence for restrictions that have been put in place on the Scottish hospitality sector, such as pubs and restaurants, at any point between the date of this request and 1 March 2020’ for the purposes of establishing ‘exactly what information is held by the Scottish Government that has been used in making policy decisions about restrictions on normal trading practice.’

Stephen Montgomery (pictured), spokesperson for the Scottish Hospitality Group, has said all along that the Scottish Government should be working together with the hospitality sector and continues to have “huge concerns” no only about the advice underpinning these decisions but also Edinburgh staying in tier 3 and the time it’s taking for financial support to reach operators.

He said, “The First Minister increasingly defends her cabinet’s decisions by saying no politician wants to take unpopular decisions. Motives are not the point here. We are allowed to question and criticise government policy without that being deflected as somehow doubting her intentions.

“We have huge concerns over the advice that the government is acting on and the judgements it is making. Far from being part of the problem, responsible hospitality businesses are part of the solution to Covid-19.

“Rather than engage meaningfully with the sector and discuss how we can work together to protect public health, the government continues to take decisions such as moving the goalposts on Edinburgh’s move into level 2.

“Meanwhile, hundreds of operators in the central belt, forced to close for the 3 week ‘short sharp shock’ in October, still await the First Minister’s promised £1650.

“It remains our hope that if the government will listen to the sector and understand our position, we can still move forward positively together.”