Scots hospitality and retail chiefs hail 'lifeline' return dates

Hospitality and retail bosses in Scotland have welcomed the revised "Route Map" out of lockdown which provides a string of key milestone dates to restart activity.

Marc Crothall says many tourism firms can look forward to a Summer season

The announcement by Nicola Sturgeon today was hailed as a "lifeline" for many Scottish businesses.

The First Minister revealed that self-contained holiday accommodation such as holiday cottages and lodges, or caravans where there are no shared services can open from July 3. This is almost a fortnight before the rest of the tourism sector which returns on July 15.

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Fiona Campbell, chief executive of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers said: “We are delighted that self-catering can welcome guests again from 3 July, this news is fantastic and nothing short of a lifeline for our £723million sector and for the many individuals and families who rely on it to support themselves."

“Scotland’s self-caterers were among the first to close our businesses as we entered lockdown, at great personal and financial cost, and now we’re poised to be among the first to help the Scottish tourist economy stand back up on its own two feet.”

Marc Crothall, chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance also welcomed the route map.

"This is the announcement that Scotland’s tourism industry has been so eager to hear and will offer huge comfort to thousands of businesses that there is a summer season ahead," he said.

"Much of our self-catering sector can start welcoming guests from 3 July – almost two weeks ahead of the now confirmed reopening date of 15th July which is great news."

Ms Sturgeon has previously said that retail stores inside shopping centres, could not reopen at the same time as other shops this Monday. But the First Minister said yesterday that indoor shops can now reopen on July 13.

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “This announcement will provide some much needed confidence to non-essential stores in indoor shopping centres and malls they can prepare for reopening in the next few weeks.

"Safety is the fundamental concern for all retailers and they have been working hard to put in place the necessary social distancing and hygiene measures to operate safely. This a welcome vote of confidence in that effort and preparation. This will also enable stores to bring colleagues back from furlough, train staff, and put suppliers on a state of readiness."

Beer gardens and other outdoor hospitality will be allowed to re-open on Monday 6 July after this was put on hold last week when Ms Sturgeon announced the Phase 2 lockdown exit.

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said: “Further easing of lock-down measures will come as a relief to businesses across Scotland – particularly those in sectors that have been so significantly impacted.

“The publication of an indicative timetable for the re-opening of hospitality, leisure, and tourism businesses is hugely welcome and gives firms the opportunity to plan for reopening – while protecting staff and customers.

“While public health rightly remains the priority, the need for action to protect jobs and livelihoods remains urgent.”

Malcolm Cannon, National Director, with the Institute of Directors (IoD) Scotland commented: "We welcome the further clarity provided by the Scottish Government today which will allow several sectors to move forward, and we will see the economy restart over the coming weeks.

"If schools do indeed return full-time in August, businesses will be able to welcome back employees who may have been on furlough, without concerns of juggling work alongside home-schooling."

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