The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has welcomed the announcement from the First Minister that Scotland will move ‘beyond level 0’ from Monday (9 Aug). The removal of most restrictions means that over 200 pubs which had remained closed due to restrictions, will now be able to open their doors to customers again.
The trade association, however, warned that there was a ‘range of pressing challenges’ still impacting the sector and that Government support would be crucial in the recovery phase. 285 Scottish pubs are estimated to have closed down since the start of the pandemic and not expected to reopen.
Commenting, CEO of the SBPA Emma McClarkin said: “This is the confirmation that so many in our sector have been desperate to hear. It is fantastic news for our pubs which have suffered more than most sectors over the last 15 months. Over 200 Scottish pubs will now be able to reopen their doors for the first-time from next Monday.
“Only from Monday can the recovery of our sector begin as we look to progress towards rebuilding, paying off accrued debts and welcoming customers fully once more. It is estimated that Scotland has lost 285 pubs for good since the start of the pandemic and hundreds more remaining at risk, with a need to reduce the tax and regulatory burden that they face. Consumer confidence also remains fragile, meaning it is vital that we get the recovery phase right. The ongoing requirement for face coverings and collection of customer contact information will have a small impact which must be recognised by Government.
“Our businesses are faced with a range of pressing challenges, including staffing issues and supply chain pressures which will require the Government to continue to work closely with us to support recovery. With the correct support, the sector can be at the forefront of Scotland’s economic recovery, creating jobs and reviving our towns and cities.”