Nicola Sturgeon has dealt the hospitality industry a further blow by bringing in new restrictions from 26 December. For pubs and restaurants, table service will now be required and 1m social distancing is back. But the biggest hit is to nightclub and entertainment venues that have seen their capacity cut. All live public events have restricted attendance. 100 for indoor standing events, 200 for indoor seated, and 500 for outdoor events, seated or standing.
The restrictions have initially been put in place for 3 weeks but government officials have told operators that as this is a public health issue there is no guarantee that restrictions will only last for this period.
Stephen Montgomery, spokesperson for the Scottish Hospitality Group said, “We are all negatively impacted by these new restrictions but night clubs and entertainment venues are the worst hit. I also feel for small and rural pubs who have organised Hogmanay events.
The compensation offer does not even come close to making up for the losses our industry is facing. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, needs to step up to the plate and reinstate furlough for hospitality staff.
“We would also ask the Scottish Government to show the modeling for the economic impact of this 3 week restriction period which is effectively, for many, closure by default”.
Details of today’s announcement can be found on the Scottish Government website.