Scottish Hospitality Group fears the worst after new Covid-19 restrictions planned

The Scottish Hospitality Group has dammed the scheduled introduction of a 10pm curfew for bars and restaurants in Scotland from Friday 25 September.

The restrictions have been announced to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and are similar to those introduced in England on Tuesday 22 September, which have led to a backlash from the outraged hospitality sector.

Stephen Montgomery, spokesperson for the Scottish Hospitality Group, said: “We are now staring into an abyss. A national curfew on Scotland’s bars, restaurants and late night venues will have a critical impact on those crucial later trading hours.

“Many of us are already trading at a loss and some members estimate that they will see their turnover plummet by more than 25% with the new measures.

“There is a real concern that the hospitality industry is being singled out for restrictions with very little evidence to support a link to coronavirus transmission. Across the SHG alone (which employs 6,000 staff) we have seen only a handful of positive cases since July.

“With 90,000 Scottish jobs at risk we are heading towards a cliff edge and time is running out. We have been speaking with government and that will be ongoing but there is only a matter of months before the restrictions on our industry will have irreparable long-term damage on our sector.

“Without meaningful financial support from government many businesses will not survive further than Christmas.

“Responsible operators that offer a controlled environment are a key part of the solution. These restrictions will only force bad behaviour underground, where track and trace is almost impossible.”