Published: Friday, 06 August 2021
Following an exchange of pre-action protocol letters with Scottish Government, and our announced intent to seek a Judicial Review, the NTIA is pleased to note that the First Minister has now acknowledged that any further continuation of the restrictions which prevent hospitality businesses from opening or trading viably would be unlawful, and has announced that the Levels system of restrictions will therefore end on August 9th and all premises can now reopen without any restrictions to activity, for their normal operating hours, and at full licensed capacity.
Given this reopening of our sector we will now be pausing our Legal Action, however, will be monitoring the situation closely moving forward and keeping all options open in the event of any future changes to regulation. This is a victory for common sense and the rule of law, and we thank our legal team for their efforts on our behalf.
We have now received the final guidance and regulations regarding what will be required as baseline measures beyond level 0 and note with concern that Scottish Government only provided written guidance just 2 days before the Levels system expires. We are also deeply concerned that the remaining requirements for face masks to be worn in some circumstances when visiting nightclubs and other busy late night premises creates significant safety and security risks for both staff and other customers, and we are continuing to liaise with Scottish Government on this topic.
Michael Kill CEO NTIA UK says:
“Following the threat of legal action coupled with representation from the industry both publicly and within Scottish Government, we have alongside our counterparts won a moral victory by unlocking an industry that has been decimated by the pandemic.”
“The work the NTIA Commission in Scotland has done on behalf of Scottish Night Time Economy businesses has been unprecedented, the team have worked tirelessly feeding into Government regularly.”
“Our Industry in Scotland will now start to plan and rebuild its future without uncertainty.”
Mike Grieve, Chairperson NTIA Scotland, says:
“We are delighted that after nearly 18 months of enforced closure, the late night curfew and physical distancing measures imposed on hospitality businesses are finally being lifted allowing nightclubs and other late night venues to reopen.
Whilst we still have some concerns about the practical implications of mask wearing in late night venues, these generally sensible relaxations of the restrictions hopefully arrive in time to save Scotland’s world class nightlife from financial armageddon.
With the long awaited guidance now issued by Scottish Government, we can at last plan properly for a return to business as usual whilst maintaining our commitment to public health and the wellbeing of our customers and staff.”
Gavin Stevenson Vice Chairperson NTIA Scotland says:
“After 18 long months of brutal restrictions that have pushed the hospitality sector to the brink of disaster, there is finally a chance for businesses to trade in a manner which offers them a chance of survival. Some of the remaining baseline measures beyond Level 0 are problematic for the sector and place Scottish businesses at a disadvantage to their English counterparts, so we seek further clarity from Scottish Government on when the baseline measures will finally be removed, in order for businesses to return to full viability.”
“In the meantime it is urgent that Scottish government engages with the sector to develop a package of further support to ensure Scottish businesses survive the coming winter, particularly given we have already had to endure far tougher and longer restrictions than our counterparts in England, with less government support to do so.”
Donald Macleod, MD Holdfast Ents & CPL, says:
“After a tumultuous, and exasperating week, one in which the “beyond level zero announcement ” left the industry unnecessarily confused, wondering where in a premises mask should be worn and drinks consumed. I am now happy that the government have consulted with the NTIA and other industry trade bodies and listened to our concerns, and we can now plan ahead for reopening with a degree of confidence and surety.”