'It’s a disproportionate response' - Glasgow pubs anger as restrictions remain

Pubs and restaurants in Glasgow City said they have been left feeling devastated after the “crushing” news that restrictions will not ease from Monday.

Glasgow is to remain in Level 3 for another week picture: John Devlin

Along with Moray, the council region will remain in Level 3 of the five-tier system of coronavirus restrictions from Monday for at least another week as the rest of the mainland drops to Level 2.

The caution comes after an “uncontrolled” outbreak in recent weeks in Moray and concern about rising cases in Glasgow where the India variant has been implicated.

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Michael Bergson, managing director of Buck's Bar Group in Glasgow, said the announcement was a “serious financial blow” to the industry.

"We are frustrated because it’s a disproportionate response to the rise in cases,” he said.

"We are not seeing hospitalisations or deaths with these new cases, and the hospitality sector is being made to suffer even when the cases aren’t linked to the industry.”

Mr Bergson added: “Pubs and restaurants will have prepped fresh food and had staff rotas all ready for Monday.

"It’s shocking that they can make this sort of announcement just 72 hours before the day we were told we could reopen.”

Mario Gizzi, owner of The DRG group which owns brand such as Di Maggio’s and Cafe Andaluz, called it an “absolute disgrace”.

He said: “Not only have our plans been thrown up in the air but it’s been done last thing on a Friday night.

“At just one of our sites, The Citizen in Glasgow, we’ve spent more than £6,000 in staff costs getting ready and roughly the same in fresh produce.

“As a standalone unit, all this food will be wasted and can’t be transferred to another restaurant."

Andrew McRae, the Federation of Small Businesses Scotland policy chairman, said the news was “crushing” for businesses and their customers.

He said: “The damage of this change, especially in Glasgow, is exacerbated by the lateness of this announcement.

“It means wasted stock, disappointed customers and increased debt.

“Scotland’s largest city has faced tough restrictions for months and months, doing untold harm to local firms.

“While the action proposed may or may not be necessary, pushing it out the door at close of play on a Friday will further undermine independent businesses.”

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