Scottish Hospitality Group says new five-tier system 'unnecessarily complex'

23 October 2020 by
Scottish Hospitality Group says new five-tier system 'unnecessarily complex'

Scotland is to come under a new five-tier system from 2 November, which the Scottish Hospitality Group has said is yet another "unnecessarily complex system".

Scotland's new ‘strategic framework' said a "refreshed approach" was needed, with a five-tier system of restrictions to be introduced, which can be applied locally or nationally and will be reviewed weekly.

At Level 0, weddings and funerals will be limited to 50 people, eight people from a maximum of three households will be able to socialise indoors, and 15 people from five households can meet outdoors.

From Level 1, this reduces to the rule of six, and weddings and funerals will be limited to 20 people.

From Level 2, no in-home socialising will be allowed but households will still be able to mix in hospitality settings. Level 3 will see alcohol sales in hospitality venues restricted to accompany a meal, while Level 4 will see the closure of hospitality premises.

Accommodation services such as hotels can remain open up to Level 4, when stays will be limited to the essential only, such as work-related travel.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said today: "Our objective is to get the virus to low levels again so that we can live with as few restrictions as possible and allow businesses to operate as close to normal as possible. But we have to be realistic. In a global pandemic, some restrictions are likely to be necessary for a while to come."

She said businesses would be supported "to the maximum possible extent within the resources we have available to us".

This includes grants of £2,000-3,000 for businesses required to close for every four weeks that they must remain closed. Those businesses that are able to trade but trading is impacted by restrictions will be given £1,400-£2,100.

Stephen Montgomery, spokesperson for the Scottish Hospitality Group, said: "The Scottish government's current approach is impacting on people's lives and livelihoods with devastating consequences. They need to sit down and work with businesses before it is too late and save an industry that is the third biggest employer in the country.

"The new financial support package, while welcome, is the equivalent of being abandoned at sea with only a lifejacket. We cannot survive if the intention is to impose these restrictions indefinitely. Since March, pubs and restaurants have effectively been closed for 20 weeks – whether by force or by the nature of the restrictions – and have only been trading for 12 weeks. No other sector has faced this level of sacrifice.

"More levels are just another example of an unnecessarily complex system that leaves both businesses and the public confused. The hospitality industry is still left bearing the brunt with no scientific, statistical or medical evidence for these restrictions."

The Scottish Hospitality Group is made up of businesses which collectively employ almost 6,000 staff across the country and have a combined turnover of over £275m, and include the restaurant chain DRG Group, Buzzworks Holdings and Signature Pubs.

Photo: Scottish Government Flickr

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