Scottish pubs ‘disadvantaged’ as England’s lockdown eases

The Scottish Government will decide next week if restrictions will be lifted here on April 26.

Scottish pubs ‘disadvantaged’ as England’s lockdown eases Getty Images

Pubs in Scotland must wait another two weeks to reopen as beer gardens across England began serving up drinks again on Monday.

If Scottish hospitality does open up on April 26, it will be under curfew restrictions – something that the industry called “simply unfair”.

Don Lawson, of Johnny Foxes, told STV News: “I’m delighted for our neighbours over the border. It does beg the question why is it not happening in Scotland today.

“I’m envious because they don’t have any curfew restrictions like when we open in two weeks time it’s a 10 o’clock curfew, and then going forward to the May 17, it’s a 10.30pm curfew.”

The Scottish Government will decide next week if restrictions will be lifted here on April 26.

No further coronavirus deaths were reported on Monday, with 199 new cases were confirmed.

While cases are often lower following a weekend, the figure is the smallest number of new cases since 70 were recorded on September 14.

The Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA) said the industry relies on trading in the evening and said there is still no indication of when normal licensing hours will return.

Emma McClarkin, SBPA chief executive, said: “Once again Scotland’s pubs and bars will be at a competitive disadvantage to those in England.

“The current arrangement is simply unfair to the licensed trade and the thousands of employees who work in the sector.”

On April 10, government ministers will review the current plans to ease Scotland’s restrictions on April 26.

Mr Lawson said: “I do look forward to two weeks today. People have missed the pub and we and my team here have missed the people.”

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