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As pubs fear 12,500 job losses

Lockdown easing may be halted as virus cases rise

Huxley hotel and Caledonian

Pubs and bars fear lasting damage from the lockdown (pic: Terry Murden)

Nicola Sturgeon has warned that lockdown restrictions may have to be reimposed rather than relaxed amid a rise in coronavirus cases.

The First Minister will reveal the outcome of the next review of lockdown measures at Holyrood on Thursday but Ms Sturgeon said it was unlikely Scotland would move to the next phase in her government’s route map.

There had previously been expectations that from 14 September soft play areas and entertainment venues such as theatres and music venues could reopen, along with a limited reopening of stadiums.

But she said Scotland would not move to phase four of the route map until the virus “is no longer considered a significant threat to public health”.

She warned: “It may be that we have to put the brakes on some further changes, too”.

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A total of 146 cases of the virus were reported on Monday and restrictions were extended to Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire, now putting more than one million under restriction.

An average of 152 positive tests have been recorded each day over the past week – compared to 14 per day six weeks ago.

The first minister said the continued rise must be taken “really seriously”.

Pubs fear ‘no return’ to normal trading

Ms Sturgeon’s warning comes amid growing concern from the Scottish Licensed Trade Association that 45% of business owners do not expect a return to any sort of normal trading until a vaccine is found.

A survey of the challenges facing Scotland’s pubs and bars, sponsored by KPMG UK reveals that 12,500 jobs could be lost.

Colin Wilkinson, managing director of the SLTA, said: “The impact of COVID has been more severe for Scotland’s pubs and bars than virtually any other sector.

“Nearly 90% of premises report that their revenue is down versus last year, with 38% reporting revenue decreases of over 50%.”

The sector welcomed the support from both the UK and Scottish Governments, but notably support from banks and UK Government had a higher rating than Scottish or local government.

A British Chambers of Commerce poll, conducted in partnership with banking group TSB, reveals 42% of respondents took on debt during the crisis.

More than 1 in 4 businesses say they may need to scale down operations to repay and 1 in 10 say they might have to cease trading.

Football test event

Aberdeen Football Club now expects to get the go-ahead on Tuesday (8th) for the return of a limited number fans to “test event” games from 12 September.

The Pittodorie club and Ross County were hoping to be given the green light on Monday for matches at home to Kilmarnock and Celtic respectively.

But Aberdeen stated on Twitter that the announcement had been delayed.

Spain resurgence

Spain became the first country in Western Europe to register 500,000 coronavirus infections on Monday, after a second surge in cases that coincided with schools reopening.

Schools reopened in six regions including the Basque Country on Monday and others will resume classes over the next 10 days.


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