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Nicola Sturgeon said the measures will be in place until October 26 at the earliest across the Central Belt of Scotland, with restaurants and pubs in coronavirus hotspots closing altogether. The First Minister insisted the new policy would help contain and slow the spread of COVID-19 after a concerning spike in cases across the nation. But representatives from the hospitality sector have slammed the decision, questioning the data behind the ban.
Graham Baikie, the owner of The Mercat & Grill in Musselburgh, said: “I’m totally devastated.
“We’re on a knife-edge here in Scotland in the licenced trade.
“There’s no doubt about it, life is important but I would actually like to know what percentage of patrons who come into our reputable establishment pass the virus on to other people.”
Mr Baikie said he and other owners had invested “heavily” to ensure the safety of patrons ahead of the reopening of his pub in the summer.
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He continued: “I know for myself I invested heavily, as have a lot of reputable establishments.
“I actually get passed compliments about how comfortable my customers feel and safe when they come in here.”
Hospitality bosses have warned Ms Sturgeon has “effectively signed a death sentence for many businesses” as they insisted the “real problem” remains people socialising at home.
Ms Sturgeon insisted the current situation is “better than March” but insisted the Scottish Government and health officials should not be complacent about the coronavirus pandemic.
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