Scottish Licensed Trade Association

New Scottish hospitality measures "devastating" for industry

07 October, 2020

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association has described the First Minister’s measures announced on October 7 as “devastating” for the industry with the fallout being hundreds of business closures and thousands of job losses.

The new meassures state that as of October 25, all pubs and restaraunts across the central belt of Scotland (including Glasgow and Edinburgh) must shut while venues in other parts of Scotland can only serve alcohol outside.

Colin Wilkinson, SLTA managing director, said: “The recent introduction of the 10pm closing time plus the two-household group of six rule is having a devasting effect on the industry – closures are looming and now today’s announcement of further restrictions and temporary lockdowns will only accelerate business failure and job losses.”

A recent survey highlighted that nearly 40% of hospitality businesses were considering closure or business exit. In September, an SLTA survey of 600 on-trade premises highlighted that within the pub and bar sector, 12,500 jobs could go.

Wilkinson added: “These figures have increased dramatically in only a month. When the industry reopened after lockdown and with the then restrictive measures in place, it was estimated that two-thirds of hospitality businesses could still be viable, but only just, with one-third of businesses unable to open.

“Now that figure has flipped and in our estimation two-thirds of hospitality businesses could be mothballed or go under. Over 50% of jobs in the pub and bar sector could also be lost which will have a particularly deep impact on the employment of young people as over 40% of staff employed are under the age of 25.

“Our research already tells us that many in the industry are on the precipice of business failure and these further restriction measures announced today and the much quieter winter season approaching leads us to only one conclusion: the sector is now heading into a scenario of ‘last man standing’.

“Responsible operators are running safe, carefully monitored establishments so in our opinion there is no need for the Scottish government to ‘go further’ on pubs. Actions by governments are meant to be proportionate and evidence based and despite reference today to newly-released ‘evidence’ the industry continues to call on the government to provide the evidence for infection rates stemming directly from the licensed trade.

“Industry figures suggest that there are very low infection rates of staff within our pubs and bars which suggests to us that the industry is doing everything that it can and is providing as safe an environment as possible – otherwise, if we were a major causal route of infection, this would surely be reflected in the infection rate of hospitality staff.”





Comment

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