Glasgow ‘must do everything’ to avoid level four restrictions

The city's council leader said escalation of virus and further restrictions would have an 'even more devastating impact'.

Glasgow ‘must do everything’ to avoid level four restrictions Getty Images
Glasgow: Council leader warned 78,000 jobs would impacted in level four.

More than 78,000 jobs would be affected if Glasgow was forced to move to level four of Scotland’s five-tier system, the city’s council leader said.

Susan Aitken said “escalation of the virus” and further restrictions would have an “even more devastating impact”, as she called for a collective effort to curb its spread in the city.

The local authority will be placed into level three when the framework comes into effect on Monday, meaning pubs, restaurants and cafes can open but cannot sell alcohol and have a curfew of 6pm.

Councillor Aitken said the City Region’s intelligence hub had calculated more than 12,500 jobs are affected by level three restrictions.

On the possibility of moving to a higher level of restrictions, she said: “That would go up to over 78,000 jobs under level four, it doesn’t bear thinking about.”

Speaking at a full council meeting, the council leader added: “The choice in Glasgow is not between level three and level two just now.

“It is between level three and level four, and we must do everything we can to prevent going up to level four.

“That must be the urgent priority for all of us and I would urge all elected members to see that it is our collective, civic responsibility to mobilise our citizens in a collective effort in Glasgow.”

She added: “Level two will be in sight, it is achievable, but only if we all pull together now.”

“It is vital for the future of our city economy and the wellbeing of our citizens.”

Glasgow Tory leader Thomas Kerr called on the council to “recognise alongside the health crisis we are facing an economic crisis”.

“Major sectors of our city economy have been closed for weeks now and face an unspecified period of further restrictions,” he said.

“In the hospitality sector, the new tier three system measures will bring them fresh challenges and businesses are crying out for some clarity on what all of this will mean.”

He said how hospitality businesses “survive this pandemic is still not clear to me”.

In response, Councillor Aitken said: “I’m acutely aware of the economic and labour market crisis that is facing this city as a result of this pandemic.”

But she said the restrictions had been introduced “in the context of a public health emergency”.

“Glasgow is in a second wave, let us have no doubt about it. There are far too many people in this city catching the virus, too many becoming sick and having to be hospitalised.

“Sadly, some people are still dying, and their loved ones are living with that loss.”

Story by local democracy reporter Drew Sandelands