No respite for Glasgow as it remains in Level 3 for another week at least

nicola sturgeon

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has not moved Glasgow City from Level 3 to Level 2 and has said that the earliest the city will move down is next Saturday 5th June.  However, this will not be confirmed until Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Clackmannahsire which she said had “low absolute numbers” will remain in Level 2 with the rest of the country moving to Level 1 on 7th June. This will be confirmed on Tuesday.

The First Minister explained that the Incident Management Unit felt it would be premature to move Glasgow out of Level 3 immediately while the situation was “still so fragile”.  Citing the increase in the number of cases which she said was still “uncomfortably high.”

However, if incidents continue to stabilize and hospitalisations remain stable she would consider moving Glasgow to Level 2 next week.  This would be just a week ahead of the planned Glasgow Green Fan Zone for the Euro’s which is planned for 11th June which would see 6,000 people a day at the Green for the entirety of the tournament.

Cases in Scotland have increased by more than a quarter in the past week. Today’s figure of 641 cases, was the highest number since 25 March with the new April 02 variant accounting for 50% or more of the daily cases. The current increases in cases are concentrated in the younger age group with Glasgow is now sitting at 146 positive tests per 100,000 people.

Glasgow has currently been under tight restrictions for 270 days.

Says Michael Bergson of Thundercat and Buck’s Bar, “I am absolutely disgusted. It is a really sad time for pubs in the city centre of Glasgow who have no outside areas or kitchen. They are the only businesses in the whole of the UK that are being to stay closed.

“It is astonishing that they still can’t tell us when they will be giving a green light to pubs opening, but they already given a green light to a 6,000 capacity fan zone at Glasgow Green on 11th June. But they still can’t give the green light to the Old Shipbank – a pub with a capacity of 50 with restrictions it makes no sense to me whatsoever.”

Stephen Montgomery, spokesperson for the Scottish Hospitality Group and owner of Townhead Hotel, Lockerbie commented, “All that’s going to happen is people will continue to travel outside Glasgow city centre, further spreading the virus. We already know that’s happening.  So, if things are really that bad that there needs to be this continued lockdown, then this is a counter-productive move and makes no sense as far as the government’s policy is concerned.  We firmly believe the approach based on case numbers is largely irrelevant now. It’s admissions and other hospital data that should be used and it’s great to see that those are remaining at a very low level. With the vaccine roll-out and all the preventative measures that the government has had us put in place, it should be possible to remove Glasgow from these unfair restrictions now. It is quite staggering to think that the plan for the fan zone at Glasgow Green is in full swing, but here we have a situation where Scottish Government thinks that keeping Glasgow City in level 3 and throwing hospitality businesses a pitiful £750 per week is acceptable.”

Leon Thompson, Executive Director at UKHospitality Scotland said, “Today’s news is a bitter blow for hospitality businesses. UKHospitality Scotland members in Glasgow are experiencing devasting financial burdens with owners, operators and workers struggling with the pressure of this ongoing situation. Waiting another week in the hope of good news will sap morale further, heaping more misery on businesses that have not been able to trade fully since last October.

“It is essential that the Scottish Government fully recognises the devastation being caused to Glasgow’s most important business sector and provides the necessary financial support to hospitality businesses, to avoid closures and job losses.”

 

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