‘My hotel used to be full… now it’s empty till January’

Willie Wood has branded the coronavirus restrictions as 'draconian'.

‘My hotel used to be full… now it’s empty till January’ SWNS via SWNS
Willie Wood: Expects hospitality industry to push back against the rules.

A hotelier who has been left with no bookings for two months claimed the hospitality industry had been “scapegoated” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Willie Wood, 62, who runs Woodhouse Hotel in Largs, North Ayrshire, does not have a booking until January 19, and fears he will struggle to keep staff employed.

North Ayshire is currently in level three restrictions but along with much of the west of Scotland has been tipped to move into level four.

But the grandfather-of-two, who has run the hotel for 13 years, believes banning alcohol sales and forcing cafes to close at 6pm under tier three is “draconian”.

Mr Wood said: “The weekend before the new restrictions came into effect, we were fully booked for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“That was reduced to only two rooms, now we don’t have any reservations till January 19.

“It is almost as if the hospitality industry is the root of all evil and it is just easy to say ‘shut this down’. I don’t get it, it all seems very draconian.

“More transparency is required as to how these decisions are made.”

Mr Wood said he expected the hospitality industry to push back against the restrictions in the run-up to Christmas.

“Establishments like ours have all the correct safely protocols in place, but to target one industry and say it is their fault is harsh in the extreme,” he said.

“I think there will be push back, especially with Christmas coming up.

“People want common sense and clarity as to what is going on and just now I feel we are not getting it.

“There is a feeling that hospitality has been targeted and used as a scapegoat.

“There is a legal challenge going forward from various hospitality associations as there is a general feeling that the shutdown has gone too far.”

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.