New funding announced
Pubs hit out at ‘lack of consultation’ on shutdown
Locked out: pubs remain shut for another week (pic: Terry Murden)
Nicola Sturgeon has again been accused of imposing restrictions on businesses without any prior consultation.
The First Minister announced at her Wednesday briefing that pubs and restaurants across the central belt will remain closed for a further week until 2 November after Scotland recorded its highest number of coronavirus deaths since May.
The shutdown was originally due to last for two weeks and end on 25 October but Ms Sturgeon said the measures will have to be kept in place for longer.
She said extending the shutdown would allow for a ‘smooth’ transition to a new tiered system of restrictions, scheduled to come into effect on the same date.
The government later announced new funding arrangements to support businesses through the extended period.
Update Thur 22: Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new package of support aimed particularly at struggling pubs, bars and restaurants.
The lockdown extension was greeted with dismay by hospitality chiefs who warned again that some businesses could not survive without revenue or more support from government.
Paul Waterson, media spokesman for the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA), said: “We expected this so we are not surprised.
“However, yet again there has been no consultation with the industry and as we said earlier this month, we believe these measures to be cataclysmic for hospitality operators.
“Hundreds of businesses are facing permanent closure and with that thousands of jobs will be lost – the damage could be irreparable.”