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9 December 2020
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9 December 2020

The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) said trading restrictions under the level system made it unviable for many businesses to operate, after the levels for each council area were reviewed yesterday. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the 11 council areas placed in the toughest level four of coronavirus measures would move into level three from Friday 11 December.

Those council areas are: the City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling, and West Lothian.

Hospitality businesses newly in level three can reopen from Saturday 12 December but must close by 6pm and cannot serve alcohol. 

Tough business decisions 

The Scottish Government has announced an additional £570m of business support, after criticism Scottish pubs were eligible for less help than other nations.

Chief executive of the SBPA Emma McClarkin called the level announcement “bittersweet” for Scottish licensed businesses. 

She added: “While the news that further economic support for the sector will be outlined tomorrow is hugely welcome and long overdue, the unwillingness of the Government to review the time restrictions on hospitality and lack of progress on the levels in certain areas like Edinburgh, is hugely disappointing.”

Edinburgh will remain in level three, which the SBPA said could cost pub businesses up to £3.2m in lost turnover if there was no change before January. 

The trade body’s analysis suggests only 92 pubs in Edinburgh are open under level three but this would move to 277 if the city was placed into level two. 

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