Warning from Chambers
Second lockdown ‘unacceptable’ says Allan
Tim Allan: ‘we need to get on with our lives’
A senior business leader has warned that a second national lockdown is “unacceptable” and said the focus should be on targeting problem areas.
Tim Allan, president of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said new restrictions would take the economy “back to square one” and risk the wellbeing of communities as well as jobs.
Instead, he said it was incumbent on everyone “to learn to manage the virus” so that people can get on with their lives.
Mr Allan spoke out after a meeting of the Chambers’ business advisory group to review the state of the Scottish Economy and after a warning from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that further restrictions could be introduced “in the near future” to stop the spread of Covid-19 in Scotland.
Some advisers have backed the idea of a “circuit breaker” lockdown.
Mr Allan said in a statement: “Talk of a further blanket lockdown is unacceptable to Scottish businesses. It would damage consumer and business confidence which have already taken an unprecedented economic hit throughout this crisis.
“Returning to national lockdown measures will take our economy back to square one – we simply cannot continue to keep switching the lights of the economy on and off. It risks not just jobs but the wellbeing of entire communities.
“Instead, we should focus on using the evidence we have to target problem areas.”
He added: “We have seen how Test and Trace and better data means we are in a much different place than at the start of the pandemic.
“The data the Scottish Government now has is sophisticated and detailed and will show which environments and geographical areas the virus is spreading.
“In the vast majority of cases, the recent growth and spread of the virus is not coming from business-managed environments.
“Companies across Scotland have invested heavily to protect its customers and employees – we are playing an outsized role in the fight against the spread of the virus.
“We know the virus will be with us for a long time. We must learn to manage it so we can carry on with our lives and protect livelihoods while keeping the risk of transmission as low as possible.”