20th April 2021

Responding to the Scottish Government’s latest COVID-19 announcement, Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Today’s confirmation that more businesses can finally open their doors to begin trading again is great news. We have been waiting a long time to finally welcome our customers back. We must remember there are many other businesses who have not yet been allowed to re-open – all government efforts and resources must be utilised to support and provide effective compensation if they are to survive.

“As we get closer to April 26th, there are still many outstanding concerns from business owners. Without any warning, the Scottish Government have decided to introduce additional constraints without any proven scientific evidence of the need. The previous guidance clearly stated we were able to operate with a 1 metre distance in hospitality settings, with additional mitigations in place, such as track and trace. The possible introduction of new measures such as the theoretical, untested, mathematical formula which small businesses are being asked to implement before re-opening, possibly reducing their capacity even further, is simply bizarre. That is what businesses are being asked to do now and this will increase our costs and reduce trading opportunities.

“We hope the First Minister will listen carefully to business concerns and look again at the detail and data that is driving such measures and request a rethink for the sake of our economy, jobs and health.

“There is hope from today’s announcement. But to translate hope into reality, the business community needs the Scottish Government to empower businesses to re-open with sensible guidelines that enable us to get back on our feet.”

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