The Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) has welcomed the Scottish Government’s intention to reopen hospitality and tourism businesses from July 15 as it continues to push for financial support, including business rates relief and grant funding for its members.
This comes after tourism secretary Fergus Ewing, in a statement to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, said that businesses should prepare for a “provisional return to trading with appropriate safety guidelines” on July 15.
Chief executive Colin Smith explained that the closure of the hospitality and tourism sectors has represented a major blow to Scotland’s wholesalers, with some of its foodservice members losing 90% of their income overnight. “Even now they are losing more than 60% of their turnover when they should be gearing up for a successful summer.”
Smith continued: “However, until we know whether the Scottish Government will be relaxing the two-metre social-distancing measure there will be huge concern about the viability of the hospitality and tourism sectors and all the supply chain businesses which rely on them.”
Meanwhile, The Scottish Licensed Trade Association’s (SLTA) managing director Colin Wilkinson has also welcomed the anoucnement but questioned what the social-distancing parameters will be.
“The SLTA and other industry bodies have asked the Scottish Government to give serious consideration to reducing the current two-metre parameter as we have seen in other countries and to bring the level in line with the World Health Organisation.
“If the current distancing measures are maintained, normal capacities could be reduced by between 60% and 80%, and each business will need to assess the practicalities, cost and viability of complying with the new guidance.”