Levels impact laid bare

pint pouring

THE difficulties facing staff and businesses in the licensed trade as a result of the Scottish Government’s levels system have been laid bare at a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee.

Giving evidence to the committee yesterday (December 1), the Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG) said hospitality staff are often receiving abuse from customers confused by the Scottish Government’s levels system of COVID restrictions, while operators are struggling with the viability of their businesses under trading restrictions.

The evidence session was part of the committee’s ongoing inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on Scottish businesses, workers and the economy.

SHG spokesman Stephen Montgomery said: “Our industry has been hit very badly, partly because we’ve been subject to far more restrictions than other parts of the UK in recent months. Yet, hard-working and anxious staff are having to put up with abuse from members of the public because of the confusion and disappointment caused by the measures in place.

“Once again we ask the Scottish Government to provide greater clarity and to open the door for meaningful dialogue with the sector about our operations and the support we need. We’ve made multiple proposals to Government on adjustments to how restriction levels operate that would allow the sector to trade viably in a safe manner consistent with public health guidance.”

The group will provide evidence to the parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee later this month.