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Business Reacts to Restrictions Announcement

The Scottish Government is cancelling large public events over Christmas and Hogmanay as cases of the omicron variant rise.

This means cancelling new year’s parties, football games and any event with more than 500 people outdoors or 200 people seated indoors.

The first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: “Follow hygiene advice and keep windows open, and crucially, on Christmas day, cut your contacts with people in other households as much as possible.

“Minimise socialising with others either at home or indoor public places, indeed, stay at home as much as feasible.”

However, businesses are calling for more support form the government after this announcement was made.

Last week, Scots were advised to reduce contact with other households over the festive period while cases rise. But businesses were also told that they are being offered a £100m support package to keep local enterprise afloat during the Christmas season.

Although, the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce is raising it’s concern that this will not be enough to support business during the crucial trading weeks of the year.

Vicki Unite, Chief Executive of Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is the news our businesses were dreading, and on top of Christmas cancellations over the past two weeks, it will herald a bleak end to the year and a stark beginning to 2022.

“Our hospitality and events sectors in particular have been bending over backwards to adhere to guidelines and recommendations, and in many cases they have acted above and beyond reasonable expectations to protect their customers and staff.

“The UK and Scottish Governments’ financial support is of course welcome, but the reality is, it is woefully inadequate and will not safeguard some jobs and businesses.

“The only thing that will do this is immediate and adequate financial support, which must be fast-tracked through to reach those businesses most in need, before it gets too late.”

In explaining the new guidance, the first minister added: “Firstly, though, let me stress, we are not changing the advice for Christmas that I set out last week.

“It is important that with just a few days to go there is certainty over family gatherings on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I am not asking anyone to change these.

“However, and I cannot stress this enough, please do follow advice to keep family celebrations as safe as possible. Keep gatherings as small as your family circumstances allow. Make sure everyone does a test shortly before getting together.

“Anyone who tests positive should not mix with others and given how infectious omicron is you should assume that if one member of the household is positive the others are likely to be so too.”

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