Responding to the Scottish Government’s latest COVID-19 announcement, Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
“For businesses in Scotland’s events and leisure sectors, this has been a very long wait. With the go-ahead to re-open on 17th May, more businesses can now re-open with certainty and safely welcome back customers.
“To fully support these sectors to make up for a year of lost trade, we need remaining sectors that remain gridlocked in uncertainty to be re-opened as quickly as possible.
“Specifically, we need to see the Scottish Government pick up the pace on the re-opening of offices in our towns and city centres. This would not only support the health and wellbeing of our employees but would also support the recovery and restart of our vibrant cities and towns.”
On international travel, Liz Cameron said:
“Our beleaguered aviation and travel industries have long waited for today’s news as an important first step towards the wider restart of international travel in the coming months.
“Confirmation of a 4 nations approach is welcome and will help to avoid confusion for customers and operators, as well as any competitive disadvantage if there was a divergence between Scotland and rest of the UK.
“However, the continued government advice on avoiding international travel will harm the tourism industry. Business support should be provided for the expected loss of trade and most importantly, we urge the Scottish Government to work with industry to kickstart international travel safely and show that Scotland is open for business.”
On Moray likely remaining in Level 3 from 17th of May, Liz Cameron said:
“Whilst the rest of the country moves to Level 2, it will be disappointing for Moray if it has to remain in Level 3 for longer. The business community will continue to play its part by providing Covid-safe environments for customers and employees.
“The availability of business support grants must be accessible quickly and rapidly. These will not make up for the loss of trade and we expect the Scottish Government to review any prolonged restrictions regularly and provide clear data-driven decisions where the economic activity will be restricted.”