The announcement early evening that Glasgow City and Moray are to remain in Level Three has been met with dismay by Glasgow pub and restaurant owners and the Scottish Hospitality Group.
The First Minister revealed that Moray’s latest figures show that 69 people per 100,000 have tested positive, while in Glasgow it is 80 per 100,000 with a 3.5% positivity rating. Said the First Minister, “It is prudent for Moray to stay at Level 3 for another week.” However, she did that that she was “cautiously optimistic” it would move to Level 2 next week.
She went on to say that Glasgow was “causing even more concern,” and continued, “there is, additional evidence that suggests the outbreak which is heavily centred in the southside is being driven by Indian variant.”
She added, “We need a few more days to assess the data.”
Mario Gizzi, owner of The DRG and member of SHG, said, “It’s an absolute disgrace. Not only have our plans been thrown up in the air but it’s been done last thing on a Friday night. At just one of our sites, The Citizen in Glasgow, we’ve spent more than £6000 in staff costs getting ready and roughly the same in fresh produce. As a standalone unit, all this food will be wasted and can’t be transferred to another restaurant. Even worse I’m now having to pay for extra staff in our call centre to cancel all next week’s bookings. It’s outrageous to have these hugely damaging decisions taken by people who have no idea of how the hospitality industry runs. When you look at the figures the offer of £750 in grant compensation really is a joke.”
Glasgow bar and restaurant owner Michael Bergson is dismayed too. He asks, “Is it not possible that the increase in test positivity in Glasgow’s Southside, which has the largest Moslem community in Scotland, has been driven by people who, in anticipation of this week’s Eid celebration, have gone for tests before seeing family members? Could that not have caused the spike?
“This is beyond disappointing. My business is doing okay and I am stressed regarding this, so I cannot imagine how people who needed this move to Level 2 to survive feel. Once again we have let down by a lack of information, and knee-jerk ineptitude. Hospitality is shouldering the blame for transmission in other area’s of society.”
While Stephen Montgomery of the Scottish Hospitality Group added: “I asked the Scottish Government on Wednesday for a heads-up about any changes and we didn’t get anything back. We’re in exactly the situation we wanted to avoid for the hospitality businesses in Glasgow. Here we are a full year on and it seems decision-makers have learned nothing and it’s shameful to be treating people this way. Staff are getting ready for their shifts, or have been working flat out to prepare for opening, and have ordered stock. You can’t just turn this stuff on and off like flicking a light switch.”
“We do hope the Glasgow community will support businesses and each other by taking up the offer of surge testing and vaccinations. We need Test and Protect to get this under control and everyone has to do their part, we are in this together. |