Uproar over curfew
Pubs: ‘we are part of solution to Covid, not the problem’
Pubs say they provide a controlled environment
Pub and restaurant operators have dubbed the latest curfew arrangements as “farcical” and said the sector is being punished despite creating a safe and regulated environment.
The Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG), representing many of the country’s popular chains, says its members have served nearly two million customers since venues reopened – with only 17 confirmed cases recorded among customers and staff.
Its members says thousands of pounds have been spent on hygiene measures and are calling on politicians to recognise the “crucial role” which the industry can play in helping combat the spread of Covid-19.
Stephen Montgomery, spokesman for the SHG, whose members employ more than 6,000 people, warned that tighter curfews and shutdowns would dramatically increase the spread of the outbreak as people would simply continue to socialise at home.
He said: “Bars and restaurants are a crucial part of the solution to combat Covid, not the problem. If they are closed down, even for a short time, all the evidence shows that people will simply socialise at home, without any of the safeguards we’ve spent months implementing.
“Our sector is the most regulated in the country and is the only safe place left where people can socialise.”
He said that only 17 confirmed cases of Covid from 1.8 million customers “shows how rigorously we have been implementing the rules and how counter-productive it would be to impose further restrictions.”