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Events chief Ellis demands social distancing date

Geoff Ellis

Geoff Ellis: we need a date to let us plan

Events promoter Geoff Ellis has appealed to the First Minister to provide a date when Scotland can drop social distancing rules which he says threaten the viability of the sector.

Mr Ellis says Scotland is losing events to England where at least events organisers can make plans because they have been given 21 June as a date when distancing will most likely end.

He said he accepted that circumstances can change, but a date allows for everyone to make preparations.

Speaking on a virtual call organised by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, the Trnsmt music festival organiser said Boris Johnson will confirm on 14 June whether the changes will take place on 21 June and Nicola Sturgeon needs to follow suit. He said he expects Scotland to have its own “Freedom Day” two weeks later.

“Give us a date because we are losing audiences to England,” he said, acknowledging that it would come with caveats, including a further delay.

“Lots of things can stop events. like flooding, but it doesn’t stop us planning them.”

He said Scotland was being “unfairly disadvantaged” by not having a date and took issue with the Project Fear mentality, blaming it on Covid adviser Jason Leitch.

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He said he was optimistic that the Scottish government would follow England.

“Scotland has tended to be two weeks behind but it is untenable to think that by the end of July social distancing is not removed.

Mr Ellis, who said he had been to the Champions League Final in Porto last week, made his comments as expectations emerged that Portugal will be removed from the green list of travel destinations.

Reports suggest that football fans travelling to the match from England, together with supporters of Sporting Lisbon celebrating a league title win have contributed to a rise in Covid cases in Portugal.

It is understood that no countries will be added to the lowest bracket of restrictions, dashing hopes that places such as Malta, Jamaica and Grenada could be added to the travel roster.



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