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Scottish hospitality businesses could reopen from 15 July

10 June 2020 by
Scottish hospitality businesses could reopen from 15 July

Hospitality businesses in Scotland could start to reopen from 15 July if cases of Covid-19 in the country continue to decline.

It had previously been suggested that Scotland would allow hospitality businesses to open outdoor areas under phase two of its plan, which could see restrictions lifted from 19 June, but this was not mentioned in today's briefing.

The lifting of restrictions from 15 July, which would include indoor areas, would come under phase three of the plan and is expected to be confirmed on 9 July.

Tourism secretary Fergus Ewing (pictured) gave the update this afternoon, but warned: "This timetable is by necessity both provisional and conditional. But we very much hope it can be met."

UKHospitality has welcomed the decision, but said support will need to be extended, with some businesses requiring assistance through to spring 2021.

Executive director for Scotland Willie Macleod said: "It's good to have some clarity from the Scottish government and a real sense that we are moving towards the reopening of hospitality and tourism businesses.

"Recognising that there may be a need to change dates and timing in the interests of health and safety, it will take time – weeks in some cases – for businesses to get back in working order, communicate with customers, handle bookings, arrange staffing and order supplies, so this lead time is very helpful. UKHospitality has developed detailed guidelines to assist businesses to reopen and looks forward to the publication of the Scottish government's own guidance on 18 June."

Macleod said additional support would need to include the expansion of the grant scheme to those with rateable values above £51,000 and a reduction in VAT to kick-start tourism.

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