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Scotland: 11 council areas to move to toughest Tier 4 restrictions, closing hospitality

17 November 2020 by
Scotland: 11 council areas to move to toughest Tier 4 restrictions, closing hospitality

Scotland's toughest coronavirus restrictions, which include the closure of restaurants, cafés and bars, are to be introduced in 11 council areas from Friday.

Hospitality businesses in the regions moving to Tier 4, which include Glasgow, will only be able to offer takeaway.

Nicola Sturgeon said the rules will be imposed in the City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.

Hotels in affected areas can still serve food to guests such as key workers until 10pm and offer room service, including alcohol.

Sturgeon said the move to Tier 4 was intended to be "short and sharp" to combat a rise in coronavirus cases, with the view to lifting restrictions from 11 December.

"In this situation it is specifically intended to have an impact in advance of Christmas and the most challenging winter period," she told MSPs.

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) said it was "the worst possible news" for the hospitality industry.

"There will be many operators now seriously considering if their businesses have a future at all - that's how serious the situation is," said SLTA managing director Colin Wilkinson.

"Moving into level four suggests that the closing of pubs and bars in October in five health board areas, prior to the introduction of the tier system, has done little to bring down the rate of Covid-19 infections.

"And yet again, there has been no meaningful engagement with our industry and there has been no evidence to prove that the virus is being spread within the licensed hospitality sector."

East Lothian and Mid Lothian will also move from Tier 3 to Tier 2 on 24 November, with other regions staying in their current tiers.

Edinburgh will remain at Tier 3, with pubs and restaurants forced to close at 6pm and unable to serve alcohol.

Yesterday Edinburgh restaurateur Tom Kitchin described the rules as a "long, slow, painful death" for hospitality.

Sturgeon said there were grounds for "continued and significant concern' about case numbers in areas moving to Tier 4. However she also said there was evidence "some progress" was being made in Tier 3 areas such as the Scottish capital.

"We will assess nearer the time the level that will apply in each area when the Level 4 restrictions end on 11 December," said Sturgeon.

The changes to tier levels were made in consultation with local authorities, and will be debated by the Scottish Parliament on Thursday.

Image: Shutterstock

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