Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Calls for ‘strengthened package of support’ as hospitality businesses brace for cancellations

With a ban on non-essential movement in and out of Dundee, as well as one on the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants, hospitality businesses are calling for further support to avoid closure.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed the city will face Level Three restrictions from Monday, while Fife, Angus and Perth and Kinross will be on Level 2.

Level 3 status means tighter restrictions for hospitality firms than those currently in place in the city. Under the existing rules in Dundee presently no alcohol can be served indoors, with pubs and restaurants ordered to close at 6pm, though alcohol can be served to customers outdoors until 10pm.

Moving to Level 3, the second highest tier, means alcohol can no longer be sold indoors or outdoors, with businesses closing at 6pm. Takeaways for both alcohol and food will be allowed to continue.

But with non-essential travel into or out of Level 3 areas banned, hotels and B&Bs could be restricted to accommodating locals and those travelling for essential work purposes.

Marc Crothall of the Scottish Tourism Alliance voiced the industry’s dismay.

He said: “Our industry has been bracing itself for today’s announcement around the tightening of levels of restrictions which will come into force on Monday and the expected wave of cancellations throughout Scotland’s hospitality and tourism sectors which will happen as a result.

“As an industry, we have always understood the need to balance public health and the economy, however we are now at a point where many hundreds of businesses simply do not have the income or funding support to remain solvent. Businesses in Tier 2 areas had hoped for an upturn in business following the slight ease of restrictions as the majority of custom in Tier 2 would have been likely to come from the Central Belt area, however due to the new travel restrictions, this will not be possible.

“It is absolutely critical now that all tourism and hospitality businesses impacted by these restrictions in whatever tier they are in have immediate access to a strengthened package of support from the Scottish Government to enable them to meet their overheads and retain what staff they had hoped to keep on their payroll over the coming weeks and beyond to avoid permanent closure and a significant wave of redundancies.”

Manny Baber, general manager of Sleeperz Hotel in Dundee.

Manny Baber, who is general manager of Sleeperz Hotel in Dundee city centre and chairman of the Dundee and Angus Visitor Accommodation Association, believes hospitality businesses had coped well by offering safe environments since reopening, so sees Level 3 restrictions as tough on the city.

“Clearly, a Tier 3 local lockdown creates challenging conditions for any hospitality business to trade under – especially following a period of closure and inactivity for hoteliers from late March to July,” he said.

“Since hotels were allowed to reopen, the hospitality industry has proven itself to be amongst the most adept at providing a Covid-19 secure environment and creating safe and responsible conditions where people can enjoy overnight stays, food, drink and socialising.”

Manny continued: “We recognise the seriousness of this pandemic and the need to prioritise public health but we have also lobbied government to properly differentiate between the kinds of hospitality businesses and their respective risk, instead of throwing a one-size-fits all blanket of restrictions across the entire sector.

“There is a world of difference between a socially distanced hotel lounge bar, with table service, and a busy city centre pub.”

He added that restrictions which do not allow the consumption of alcohol have an enormous impact on trade.

“It’s difficult to attract visitors to stay overnight and spend time in a city that cannot serve alcohol in cafes, bars and restaurants. This will result in fewer visitors and less spend in the local economy.

“From July to September, we saw green shoots of recovery in the warmer months, as the national picture stabilised but moving into winter and autumn – we now face losing the traditional Christmas party season, hotel stays driven by music events, gigs and nightlife and most likely Hogmanay celebrations.

“These are extremely challenging times for the UK and Scotland as a whole and we must persevere in order to suppress this virus and prevent our health services being overwhelmed.

“As an industry, we would urge our leaders to strike a balance between targeting and eliminating the causes of Covid outbreaks whilst also enabling professional and responsible businesses to continue to trade and provide much-needed relief for the general public from months of struggle and sacrifice.”

Level 2 status, which will apply to Fife, Perth and Kinross and Angus, will see hospitality businesses being able to serve alcohol with a main meal indoors until 9pm, with alcohol allowed to be served outdoors until 10.30pm, sparking confusion on social media earlier in the week when details of the new system first emerged.

Jamie Scott, owner of The Newport Restaurant in Newport, asked:

Billy Boyter, owner of The Cellar restaurant in Anstruther in the East Neuk of Fife.

Owner of Craig Millar @ 16 West End in St Monans.

Geoffrey Smeddle, chef at the Peat Inn in Fife.

Santanu Roy, who runs the Tayview Hotel in Dundee along with his co-owner Devendra Nath, invested heavily in a beer garden in the hope of being able to continue to serve alcohol during the pandemic.

He said: “I was expecting the announcement, I wasn’t very positive, but when the news came officially today it was still really, really bad.

“For the Tayview Hotel things have been up and down since the month of March with lockdown. We got a licence for the beer garden and built a decking in the car park, investing heavily when the government announced you could only have drinks outside.

“But now everything is wasted as we can’t even serve alcohol outside now. It’s really, really hard and obviously in the hotel we have the rooms, but we are not getting any guests at all, because of the economy and also because people are scared. They are not travelling to other cities and now, on the top of that, we are not getting enough support from the government.”

His restaurant trade, already hit hard by the restrictions, will also suffer massively from the city being in Level 3.

“We have a hotel, bar and Indian restaurant, but when Nicola Sturgeon announced that you could open from 6 o’ clock in the morning until 6 in the evening who will go to have an Indian meal in the morning?

“We can only really open from 3pm until 6pm, but if someone if someone is going out for a meal with the family, they will go home have a shower, get dressed up, they aren’t going to arrive at us until about 5.15. They only have 45 minutes to stay in a restaurant to enjoy a meal.

“It makes no sense at all. I feel bad when I see my customers coming in at half five or quarter past five trying to support me, but I have to say to them ‘you have to go out at 6 o’ clock’. You can’t enjoy the food.”

Santanu Roy, who runs the Tayview Hotel in Dundee along with his co-owner Devendra Nath

He believes that the government should have adopted an 8pm closure which would at least give people an opportunity to eat out.

Santanu added: “Instead of 6 o’ clock surely they could extend it to 8 o’clock have a pint or have an alcoholic drink it would be fine surely?

“I haven’t seen one thing in scientific proof where it says go to a restaurant, have your food but don’t have an alcoholic drink and you won’t get Covid! It might be best for us not to operate.”

“I feel sorry for all my staff I promised I would keep all my staff, they would keep their jobs but they are getting very few hours and most of them are students and it’s very very hard thing and we are getting very little from the government, it’s a drop in the ocean. We are getting £1,000, but we haven’t even received that yet.”

“Confusion and distress”

Paul Waterson of the SLTA

Paul Waterson, spokesman for the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, said the new tiers were already causing “confusion and distress”.

He said: “The situation couldn’t get any worse and we are fielding calls from members who simply can’t take any more of this. They are deeply worried about the future and this will lead to further confusion and distress.

“It will cause utter devastation and sleepless nights for industry owners, operators and staff who will spend this weekend wondering if their businesses are going to be viable, if they are going to still have jobs and, indeed, if they will even still have a business.

“We are relieved that no local authority has been put into Level 4 restrictions but be very clear: even those in Level 1 do not escape hardship as many businesses have not been able to open because it is just not viable. The future is equally grim for nightclubs and other late-night venues across the country.

“Like everyone else we want our staff, families, friends, neighbours and colleagues to be safe. But there must be nuance and realistic limits, not misguided restrictions like these which are extremely unbalanced and do not appear to be borne out of any evidence that we have seen.”

Mr Waterson also questioned how a “main meal” would be defined under Level 2 restrictions, alongside which alcohol can be served. And he said the trade body estimates two-thirds of hospitality jobs could now go.

“Licensed premises can only serve alcohol indoors with a main meal – and then only until 8pm. What is a ‘main meal’? We had a similar debate over what is and isn’t a café – again we are being provided with ambiguous detail which will cause confusion.”

“We estimate that two-thirds of hospitality businesses could be mothballed or go under. Over 50% of jobs in the pub and bar sector could also be lost which will have a particularly deep impact on the employment of young people as over 40% of staff employed are under the age of 25.

“The time has come for proper, grown-up dialogue and we appeal to the First Minister and the Scottish Government to listen to us and help save our industry – it’s that serious.”

The Scottish Government have been approached for comment.

Read more on this..