SLTA ‘bitterly disappointed’ over face coverings extension

By Gary Lloyd contact

- Last updated on GMT

'Galling' decision: face masks will remain mandatory in pubs in Scotland for three more weeks (credit: Getty/monkeybusinessimages)
'Galling' decision: face masks will remain mandatory in pubs in Scotland for three more weeks (credit: Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

Related tags: Legislation, Social responsibility, Health and safety

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) has expressed its disappointment with the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon after she opted to keep face mask rules in place meaning people in pubs must still wear them.

The decision make the wearing of face coverings – which affects the hospitality sector, public transport and some public places – will not become ‘guidance’ until 18 April.

SLTA managing director Colin Wilkinson said the decision was “particularly galling” given the First Minister was seen without a face covering while attending the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in London this week.

Requirement until 18 April

He said: “While face coverings are not required south of the border as the rules changed at the end of January, surely it would have set an example for the First Minister still to wear hers at the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service given her decision to insist that in licensed hospitality, in shops, on public transport and some indoor settings in Scotland we are required to still wear them until 18 April.

“The lack of use of face coverings is already clearly evident in many settings and this extension of the restrictions will make little difference.

“We have already stated our view that Scotland not falling into line with England will confuse people – particularly visitors from south of the border. It is already confusing people and it is exceptionally unfair for business owners and their staff to have to remind people who are not familiar with our rules that they must wear a face covering.”

Hoped for restrictions end by Easter

Wilkinson continued: “To say we are bitterly disappointed by today’s announcement is an understatement as we still face nearly three more weeks of restrictions.

“We had hoped all restrictions would have been lifted ahead of the Easter weekend when hospitality businesses traditionally see an upsurge in business.”

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association represents independent licensed trade establishments and personal licence holders at pubs, hotels, restaurants, off-sales sites and late-night premises.

Related topics: Legislation

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