Scottish tourism and hospitality sector scheduled to reopen on July 15

‘Indicative’ reopening date is ‘both provisional and conditional’

SCOTLAND’S tourism and hospitality venues should be able to reopen for business on July 15.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament today (June 10) Scottish tourism minister Fergus Ewing said the Scottish Government hopes to confirm the reopening of tourism and hospitality venues when it reviews lockdown measures on July 9, with a view to venues reopening the following week on July 15.

He stressed that the July 15 date is still provisional and will rely on public health advice and the status of the coronavirus in Scotland at that time.

Scottish Government guidance on the steps operators will have to take to keep staff and customers safe from the virus is to be published on June 18.

The Scottish Government has previously said that it expects to give the go-ahead next week for pubs, bars and restaurants to reopen their outdoor areas. But venue interiors will have to remain closed for the time being.

Speaking in the parliament Ewing said: “Statutory reviews of the current restrictions are required on June 18 and July 9. Those reviews must take place and the outcomes of them must show the necessary progress in our fight against the virus for tourism to resume.

“As things stand just now our hope is that we will be able to give the go-ahead to a reopening of the sector at the July 9 review.

“Assuming this does prove possible, some time would then be required for inter-connected services such as transport to prepare. On that basis and on the clear understanding with the industry that nothing can be absolutely guaranteed at this stage and that we may need to change this date if the evidence requires it, we would encourage tourism and hospitality businesses to prepare – within appropriate safety guidelines – for reopening on July 15.

“For the reasons I’ve set out this timetable is by necessity both provisional and conditional. But we very much hope it can be met and that setting it out now, even with caveats, gives the sector greater clarity and some much needed ability to plan ahead.”