National campaign needed to get Scots back in shops and pubs

A national campaign should be launched in Scotland to get people back into local shops, pubs and restaurants, the The Tories have said.
Scots will be allowed to venture back inside pubs in Edinburgh's Grassmarket from WednesdayScots will be allowed to venture back inside pubs in Edinburgh's Grassmarket from Wednesday
Scots will be allowed to venture back inside pubs in Edinburgh's Grassmarket from Wednesday

Town centre rules should also relaxed to allow pubs more outside space and help revive ailing High Streets across the country in the aftermath of lockdown.

It comes after a warning from hospitality chiefs warned that hundreds of pubs and hotels across the country are unlikely to reopen on Wednesday when they are given the green light by the Government to return. Polling has also suggested that many Scots are wary about returning to pubs, restaurants and hotels.

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"Local pubs, cafes and restaurants aren’t just important for our economy they are important for our communities," Tory leader Jackson Carlaw said today.

“The scale of the financial challenges facing our pubs, cafes and restaurants are significant but not insurmountable.

“The SNP government must implement some very targeted measures that will secure the short term future of our local pubs."

Measures to adapt town centres would include freeing up planning restrictions so that pubs can have more outside space, while a Town Centre Adaptation Fund could help councils cover the costs of widening pavements, improving access and scrapping car park charges.

This would allow social distancing to be maintained in pubs and restaurants, while reassuring customers of the need to get back out and support long-established local businesses.

“With these measures pubs and restaurants will have the flexibility they need and people will have the reassurance they need,” Mr Carlaw added.

“We cannot let our hospitality industry become another tragic casualty of this virus – let’s get out there and support our pubs.”

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