Monday, 19 Oct 2020

Nicola Sturgeon blasted for ‘death knell’ coronavirus measures after huge blow to pubs

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The First Minister announced the new rules yesterday, which she described as “difficult but important temporary measures”. However, the rules were met with concerns for the country’s hospitality industry.

Stephen Montgomery, spokesperson for the Scottish Hospitality Group, said the measures amounted to a “death sentence for many businesses across the hospitality industry”.

The spokesperson added: “This latest blow from the Scottish Government will create fear and anger across our industry.

“This is not a ‘short, sharp shock’, rather a crippling stranglehold.”

Mr Montgomery claimed “the real problem is socialising at home”.

In addition, Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said the new rules “will sound the death knell” for businesses in the hospitality sector.

One pub owner, who operates Alexander’s Bar in Clydebank, told the BBC he was “at the end of my tether”.

READ: Matt Hancock hints at pub closures under new drastic lockdown measures

Yesterday, Scotland recorded 1,054 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total in the country to 34,760.

Yesterday’s data also revealed one new death from the virus, while 319 people were in hospital with “recently confirmed” coronavirus cases.

To slow the increase, Ms Sturgeon said yesterday: “None of this is easy, I am acutely aware that in every decision we take lives and jobs are at stake and I want to assure, not just the chamber but the country, that none of these decisions are taken lightly.”

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She added there was particular concern for the areas of Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley.

Ms Sturgeon said: “In these areas, all licensed premises – with the exception of hotels for residents – will be required to close indoors and outdoors, though takeaways will be permitted. Hotels will remain open for residents.”

Outside of those five areas, pubs will have to close indoors after 6pm.

However, the First Minister said they could continue to serve alcohol outdoors up until 10pm.

The new measures are due to come into force at 6pm this Friday.

The First Minister claims the new measures were the result of a new evidence paper published the same day by the Scottish Government’s senior clinical advisers.

The Scottish government added an extra £40 million would be set aside for business support.

It is thought about 3.4 million people will be affected by the tougher new rules which affect Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Forth Valley, Lothian and Ayrshire and Arran.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce stricter coronavirus measures on the UK next week, the BBC claims.

This could involve a ban on people staying away from their home overnight.

It is also thought a new three-level system could be introduced which would enforce tighter lockdowns on certain regions of the country.

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