Nicola Sturgeon has just announced the latest restrictions in Scotland.
As far as the hospitality industry is concerned the highlights (or lowlights as it should probably be) are thus:
- For 16 days (from 6pm this Friday to Sunday 25th October inclusive) pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will be able to operate indoors from 6am to 6pm only and only for food and non-alcoholic drinks – alcohol indoors in hospitality is banned for 16 days.
- Hotels can operate after 6pm indoors but only for residents and again no alcohol can be sold.
- The 6 people from 2 households rules stay in place.
- Outdoors venues can still serve alcohol until 10pm.
- In the central belt areas of Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley all licensed premises (exception of hotels for residents) to shut indoors and outdoors – is has been reported that this will be on the same Friday 6pm – 25th Oct timeline.
- Specific life events such as weddings (already booked in) and funerals will not fall under these rules and will continue on the previously set out restrictions.
She justified this up with figures based on the R number seemingly rising above 1 approx. three weeks after the hospitality sector reopened, and more than 1/5th of people contacted by test and protect had visited a hospitality venue. She stressed that this does not mean that is where they caught the virus but these areas pose a high risk for transmission.
An extra £40 million to be made available immediately to help during this time, no announcement on how this will be distributed but hospitality was highlighted as an area this is to be used for and will be released as soon as possible. Sturgeon did say that she has decided ‘to take a day or so after this announcement to allow consultation with the sector (hospitality) so we can hear from them how this money should be best allocated’.
This is obviously a huge blow for Scottish hospitality with the furlough scheme at its lowest levels of help. A huge area of Scotland (including Edinburgh & Glasgow) are now shut and for the others many, if not most, of the bars have no outside areas. For those that do the weather forecast doesn’t look great with an average temperature during the day of around 11 degrees and rain on most of those days.
Once again it seems that the hospitality industry has been singled out by the powers that be for particularly harsh punishment. The industry has done everything asked of it, has provided some of the safest environments in the country and has been rewarded by the removal of their legs.
All we can do is send our love to the hospitality scene in Scotland which have given us some of the best nights of our time running BarLifeUK. We can only hope that the financial support comes quickly and is enough.