'The Scottish Government must also understand that this delay will cost an already beleaguered industry millions of pounds'

The  Staff Canteen

Only very minor changes to the restrictions in place in Scotland will be implemented on Monday June 28th, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced, due to a 40 percent rise in the number of cases of Coronavirus.

Many parts of the country will remain constrained by 'Level 1' or 'Level 2' rules until the next review takes place on July 19th, at which point, Nicola Sturgeon said, she hopes that the whole of Scotland will be able to move down to 'Level 0' restrictions. 

In her address the first minister said that cases over the past week were up 40% on the previous week, and thus, "we cannot be complacent about this." 

Any relaxation of rules - except minor changes to rules on weddings and funerals, including the scrapping of facemasks for the bride and groom - have been pushed back to July 19th.

By 9th August, all remaining restrictions could be lifted.

She said: "We will consider and make a final assessment nearer the time of whether - as we hope - this could include the lifting of the legal requirement to physically distance indoors as well as outdoors." 

In any case, she said, "the move beyond level 0 will be a major milestone and it will signal a return to almost complete normality in our day to day lives."

With a tentative end in sight, "normal life is much closer," she concluded.

What are the level restrictions? 

At Level 2

- Groups of up to 6 people from 3 households are able to socialise indoors and overnight stays are allowed; 

- Groups of up to 6 people from 3 households can meet in an indoor public place like a café, pub or restaurant;

- Groups of up to 8 people from 8 households outdoors can meet outdoors;

- Travel is allowed anywhere in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands - providing that is allowed in the receiving countries

- Up to 50 people can attend weddings and funerals

At Level 1 

- Groups of up to 6 people from 3 households are able to socialise indoors and overnight stays are allowed; 

- Groups of up to 8 people from 3 households can meet in an indoor public place like a café, pub or restaurant;

- Groups of up to 12 people from 12 households outdoors can meet outdoors 

- Travel is allowed anywhere in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands - providing that is allowed in the receiving countries

- Up to 100 people can attend weddings and funerals

At Level 0 

- Groups of up to 8 people from 4 households are able to socialise indoors and overnight stays are allowed; 

- Groups of up to 10 people from 4 households can meet in an indoor public place like a café, pub or restaurant;

- Groups of up to 15 people from 15 households outdoors can meet outdoors 

- Travel is allowed anywhere in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands - providing that is allowed in the receiving countries

- Up to 200 people can attend weddings and funerals.

As well as the level restrictions (of which you can consult a map here), as of Saturday, the first minister announced a ban on non-essential travel to Greater Manchester due to concerns about case numbers of the Delta variant in Bolton, Salford, Manchester and Lancashire.

What do the level restrictions mean for hospitality?

Upon hearing the news that the easing of restrictions would be delayed, representatives for the hospitality industry told the Scotsman that the decision continued a “never-ending hell,” described as “unforgiveable” by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), with its policy chair, Andrew McRae, calling for proportionate government support. 

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA)'s  managing director Colin Wilkinson, meanwhile, said: "We understand the need for caution, but the Scottish Government must also understand that this delay will cost an already beleaguered industry millions of pounds and puts in jeopardy the future survival of many of the pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels and late-night bars that form part of Scotland’s social fibre.

“For those still unable to open because of their size or the entertainment they provide, such as late opening premises and nightclubs, it is another devastating blow for an abandoned sector crippled by restrictions and with no route map out of the pandemic.”

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd June 2021

'The Scottish Government must also understand that this delay will cost an already beleaguered industry millions of pounds'