UKHOSPITALITY Scotland’s Executive Director, Leon Thompson, today commented on the First Minister’s statement on changes to self-isolation, saying “The reduction from 10 to seven days for self-isolation will be welcomed by the Scottish hospitality businesses that are able to trade at reasonable levels and thus require greater numbers of their team. However, with no easing of restrictions or reversal of closures until at least 17th January, today’s announcement leaves the future of jobs and livelihoods remain hanging in the balance.
“Christmas and Hogmanay were a write-off for many of our businesses. The ongoing uncertainty on how, or indeed if, sporting and business events can take place over coming weeks and months is now sapping business and consumer confidence further. If the uncertainty around restrictions continues, Easter bookings and trade will suffer, too, as holidaymakers from Scotland and the rest of the UK decide to travel elsewhere.
“Financial support for hospitality is yet to reach struggling businesses – even when it does, it will help with some immediate costs but won’t save the struggling hospitality venues that so desperately need to trade at full capacity. Above all, those businesses need clarity on when restrictions will be lifted and recognition from the Scottish Government that future restrictions on hospitality are not the way out of the current phase of the pandemic.”
UKHospitality is the authoritative voice for over 730 companies operating around 85,000 venues in a sector that employed 3.2 million people prior to COVID. The body speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators, as well as 6,000 affiliated operators.