Covid lockdown: Scottish hospitality is bleeding but is anyone listening? – Brian Wilson

I admit to bemusement about restrictions surrounding Scottish hospitality based on the premise we should be more restrictive than anywhere else and least concerned about consequences for businesses and jobs.

Saying so has been turned into a heresy because it can be casually equated to lack of concern for public health. However, there is no statistical evidence which bears that out.

Research from Oxford University shows Scotland has had far more lockdown days than the rest of the UK, at far more restrictive levels, yet health outcomes are similar. Accordingly, I am open to evidence but wary of edict.

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Without a beer garden, the bigger the better – which itself seems anomalous – most businesses remained shut. The chef, Tom Kitchin, says, "I'm opening up to make a loss, because I have a duty to my suppliers... I know how much they are hurting because I've seen the tears in their eyes.

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“All these little artisan producers, there will be none of them, it will all just be massive chains… there will be no little independent Scottish restaurants that make the country so special.”

Mr Kitchin has earned the right to be listened to. So too has the Night Times Industries Association who are seeing businesses, which have taken decades to build, going down the pan. They are right to test that fate in court.

We should show more interest in learning from elsewhere about how boundaries can be moved in order to do things safely but at the same time secure the future.

Scotland has had far more lockdown days than the rest of the UK, at far more restrictive levels, yet health outcomes are similar, says Brian Wilson (Picture: Scott Louden)

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