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Covid: Pubs and restaurants in central Scotland to close

Covid: Pubs and restaurants in central Scotland to close

Covid: Pubs and restaurants in central Scotland to close

All pubs and restaurants across central Scotland are to be closed under new measures aimed at tackling a surge in coronavirus cases.

The new rules will apply to licensed premises across the central belt, including Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Pubs and restaurants will be able to open in other parts of Scotland – but can only serve alcohol outdoors.

The new rules, which will be in force from 18:00 on Friday until 25 October, apply to about 3.4 million people.

They cover people living in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Forth Valley, Lothian and Ayrshire and Arran health board areas.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the restrictions were “intended to be short, sharp action to arrest a worrying increase in infection”.

She warned that without taking action, the country risks “returning to the peak level of infection by the end of the month”.

But she admitted that the new rules would be disruptive to many businesses and would be unwelcome to many people.

The Scottish Hospitality Group, which includes many of the the country’s best known pubs and restaurants, accused the first minister of “effectively signing a death sentence” for many businesses.

And the Federation of Small Businesses said the move would have a major knock on impact across other parts of the economy, including tourism.

Opposition parties have called for more detail on a £40m support package for affected business that was announced by Ms Sturgeon, and have questioned the need for the blanket closure of pubs and restaurants.


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