Glasgow Covid measures 'counter productive'

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Glasgow lockdown: the Scottish city will remain in level three for at least another week (image: Getty/coleong)
Glasgow lockdown: the Scottish city will remain in level three for at least another week (image: Getty/coleong)

Related tags: Coronavirus, Legislation, Health and safety, Glasgow, Scottish

Scottish operators have warned continued lockdown measures in Glasgow could do more harm to public health than good.

Glasgow will remain under level three measures for at least one more week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today (28 May).

Businesses had hoped the city would be able to move into level two measures, meaning pubs could serve alcohol indoors.

However, Sturgeon said the Indian variant of Covid-19 was accounting for about half of new cases in the city and said it would be "premature" to ease rules at this point.

The city may be able to move to level two on Saturday of next week, the minister added.

Health risks

Stephen Montgomery, spokesperson for the Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG) and owner of the Townhead Hotel in Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, has said continued restrictions for Glasgow pose a public health risk.

He said: "All that’s going to happen is people will continue to travel outside Glasgow city centre, further spreading the virus. We already know that’s happening. 

"So, if things are really that bad that there needs to be this continued lockdown, then this is a counter-productive move and makes no sense as far as the government’s policy is concerned."

SHG said it thought an approach based on case numbers was “largely irrelevant” and policymakers should look at hospital admissions data.

Montgomery added: “With the vaccine roll-out and all the preventative measures that the government has had us put in place, it should be possible to remove Glasgow from these unfair restrictions now. 

Pitiful support

The operator said it was “pitiful” that Glasgow businesses were only able to receive £750 a week for the cost of continued restrictions.

What’s more, Leon Thompson, executive director at UKHospitality Scotland also called for additional financial support after the “bitter blow” for city venues.

Thompson said: “UKHospitality Scotland members in Glasgow are experiencing devasting financial burdens with owners, operators and workers struggling with the pressure of this ongoing situation. Waiting another week in the hope of good news will sap morale further, heaping more misery on businesses that have not been able to trade fully since last October.

Devastation to sector

“It is essential that the Scottish Government fully recognises the devastation being caused to Glasgow’s most important business sector and provides the necessary financial support to hospitality businesses, to avoid closures and job losses.”

There has also been anger following a decision to allow a month-long, 6,000-capacity fan zone in Glasgow Green for the Euro 2020 football tournament while pubs cannot serve pints indoors still. 

Earlier this month, Scottish pub operators told The Morning Advertiser of their shock when it was decided at the eleventh hour that Glasgow would be held back from an easing of restrictions on 17 May.

The rest of mainland Scotland is in level two, meaning businesses can serve alcohol indoors until a 10.30pm curfew.

Related topics: Legislation

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