‘Aviemore is based on tourism – we need clarity’

Concerns have been raised that businesses cannot adequately plan to reopen under the new measures.

Play icon STV News

Businesses in Aviemore are calling for more clarity on reopening dates following the Scottish Government’s latest plans to ease Scotland out of lockdown.

On Tuesday, the First Minister set out the route out of lockdown at Holyrood, prioritising getting children back into education. 

Non-essential shops, bars, restaurants, gyms and hairdressers could reopen in parts of the country from the last week of April under the new guidelines.

Nicola Sturgeon added that the localised ‘levels’ system would return from the last week of April, which could see varying rules in different parts of the country depending on the number of local cases.

However hospitality businesses have called for further clarity on the rules, as they feel they cannot adequately plan to reopen under the new measures. 

Mike Gale owns adventure business G2 Ziplining and says work that needs to be done to maintain the business has been put on hold as he cannot afford to bring staff back from furlough. 

He said: “At this time of year we need to be doing maintenance, safety checks and getting back to work. 

“But at the moment I need my staff to be on furlough because that’s the only income I’ve got, whereas they need to be back working. 

“Whereas in England they can plan and they, as in the tourist industry, they can be up and running before us.

“Yet Scotland, up here in Aviemore, it’s based on tourism. We need to know.”

“Hospitality has been ignored,” added Scott Burns-Smith, owner of Ravenscraig Guest House.

“We’ve been working through this pandemic for the last 12 months now and we’re not seeing a clear road map out of this.

“Hospitality is in desperate need of more support, but essentially people in hospitality just want to be open.”