Save our Jobs campaign launched as restrictions extended

Hospitality bosses are calling for urgent support for the industry from the Scottish and UK governments.

Save our Jobs campaign launched as restrictions extended Getty Images

Hospitality bosses have launched a campaign calling for urgent support for the industry after restrictions were extended for another week.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that measures due to end on Monday, including the closure of licensed premises in the central belt and the curbing of alcohol sales indoors in other parts of the country, will be extended for a further seven days.

The restrictions will now last until a new tiered system is put in place by the Scottish Government on November 2, which will impose measures based on the prevalence of coronavirus in the local area.

The Save our Jobs campaign demands support from the Scottish and UK governments to ensure up to 100,000 jobs are not lost in bars and restaurants across the country when the furlough scheme ends on October 31.

Michelin star chef Tom Kitchin, Signature Group boss Nic Wood – the head of one of Scotland’s biggest pub groups – and other hospitality sector bosses and staff have joined the campaign.

Mr Kitchin said: “Our industry is in a real need of help, especially having only just partly recovered from the first lockdown.

“We have worked so hard to keep our guests and diners safe in hospitality settings, taking all safety precautions needed to remain safe while enjoying good food and drink.

“Eliminating the risks of the virus is obviously our greatest concern, but there needs to be a balance for the hospitality future of Scotland.”

Mr Wood said he hopes the campaign will highlight the “plight” of the young hospitality workforce, with 50% of all staff aged between 16 and 24.

He added: “We care about every member of our team and to not be able to save every job causes us a huge amount of distress.

“With the appropriate measures, hospitality can be a Covid-secure environment so we want to press that with the right support, the industry can reopen safely, thus protecting jobs.”

Details of the tiered system are due to be unveiled on Friday, including the maximum level of support which can be made available to businesses forced to close.

Sturgeon has already said that maximum level of support which can be offered by the Scottish Government is the minimum she feels is required, and urgent talks are needed with the UK Government on further funding.

She said: “In common with other devolved administrations and, indeed, many councils now across England, we will continue to pursue urgent discussions with the Treasury about the provision of adequate support and funding to support businesses and individuals through the kind of restrictions that are likely to be necessary in the period ahead.”

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