Nicola Sturgeon fury: Pub owner erupts at new Covid rules ‘We’re used as a scapegoat!’

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Nicola Sturgeon has plunged Scottish pubs and restaurants into a 16-day lockdown from Friday in an attempt to stop COVID-19 cases from increasing. But managing director from Kained Holdings, Graham Suttle, has erupted at the new restrictions claiming the First Minister is using the hospitality sector as a “scapegoat”. He went on to demand to see the evidence which suggests pubs and restaurants must stop servings alcohol indoors.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Suttle said: “I think everyone is angry. Scotland has woken up to what was shock but has now turned very much to anger at the government.

“I think the issue we have is where is the evidence? We need to see the evidence.

“We’ve bent over backwards, we’ve done everything asked of us and what is now become clear is we’re now being used as a scapegoat to deliver some legislative changes to make the government look like they’re doing things when in actual fact, the evidence suggests it has nothing to do with hospitality.

“It’s more to do with schools, care homes, other places where they’re higher levels of contact.”

He added: “Anyone who has been to any of our venues, it’s one of the most regulated industries.

“You’ve got sanitation stations, social distancing, temperature checks at the doors.

“You’ve got all these regulations that mean it’s the safest place in the country to go.

“I’m more scared to send my kids to school than the pub.”

Mr Suttle went on to say he cannot cope with 16 days of lost revenue.

He noted: “Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP government have a lot to answer and I think they need to stand by what is a keystone industry in Scotland.”

UKHospitality executive director for Scotland Willie Macleod has also warned that many businesses won’t survive the new restrictions on hospitality and licensed trade in Scotland and said that tens of thousands of jobs will be lost.


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He told BBC Breakfast: “The hospitality, the licensed trade fully appreciates the health position and we realise the Government has very difficult decisions to make to balance public health and the economy but the impact on businesses that have worked very hard and successfully to provide safe hygienic environments for customers and staff, the impact is going to be horrific.

“It’s coming at a very difficult time of year. There’s never an easy time of year, but we’re reliant on tourism as well as local customers, we’re just going into the mid term holiday period and customers in Scotland and elsewhere are absolutely uncertain now about whether to continue with their holiday bookings.

“Closing bars and restaurants is going to have a massive impact on businesses that are really just climbing back from a prolonged period of lockdown, they’ve reopened with reduced capacity to cope with social distancing, they were then hit by the 10pm curfew and with reduced demand and reduced consumer confidence business resilience is as low as it can be.

“Many businesses won’t survive and I’m afraid we’re going to see tens of thousands of job losses by the time we do the final count on all of this.”

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