Three-quarters of Scottish hospitality businesses will fail without support if certification extended

15 November 2021 by
Three-quarters of Scottish hospitality businesses will fail without support if certification extended

Scotland's hospitality trade bodies have today released joint survey results highlighting the impossible financial situation the extension of vaccine certification would put the sector in.

Of the 150 business owners and operators surveyed, 83.6% said turnover was down by more than 10% on pre-pandemic levels.

If vaccine passports were extended to wider hospitality, 76.2% said they would not survive the winter without further government support and 95.4% would have to cut staff hours if trade reduced as expected.

The survey also found that for those businesses already impacted by the policy, 95.2% said trade had been negatively impacted, while 87.2% have seen trade reduced by over 20% since the introduction of the scheme.

In a joint statement, the trade bodies (which included UKHospitality, the Night-Time Industries Association, the Scottish Hospitality Group, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association and the Scottish Beer and Pub Association) said: "From this survey it is clear to see that Scotland's hospitality sector is in a precarious situation, making the recovery period all the more important. Four out of five (83.6%) businesses are significantly below pre-pandemic levels and with inflation, debt levels and other costs rising, the sector is facing a very difficult winter ahead…

"It's a similarly worrying picture for staff with over 95% of businesses saying that if trade reduced in line with expectations, they would have to reduce staff hours by the same or greater percentage as the loss of turnover. Given that turnover has reduced by 20% to 40% for businesses impacted by the scheme, this would be a devastating blow for the sector's 100,000 workers just in the run-up to Christmas. The Scottish government must take this into consideration when making the decision on any extension of the Covid certification and provide the economic support to keep thousands of businesses afloat."

Deputy first minister John Swinney said last week the Scottish government was considering whether to extend the Covid certification scheme to bring more sectors into scope, such as indoor hospitality and leisure settings. The next review of the restrictions is due to take place tomorrow (16 November).

Photo: Shutterstock / Irina Soboleva S

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