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Level Zero ‘two steps forward, but at least one step back’

Photo Credit: Negative Space

Local business in Perthshire responds to the First Minister’s announcement that Scotland will lower Coronavirus restrictions from next week.

The Perthshire Chamber of Commerce expressed the concern of businesses who feel that hospitality is one of the key sectors still feeling the brunt of the impact from the restrictions.

Chief Executive of the chamber of commerce, Vicki Unite, said: “It’s two steps forward, but at least one step back. While obviously a slower, phased return to some kind of normality is beneficial for health reasons, the toll continues to be considerable for business.

“And once again it’s hospitality and town and city centre retail businesses that are bearing the brunt of it, especially those shops and cafes reliant on the custom from office workers.”

Announcing that Scotland will move to level 0 from Monday (July 19), Nicola Sturgeon said: “We are easing restrictions next week – but we are not abandoning them. We will also keep in place for now certain other measures – such as the requirement to wear face coverings, co-operate with test and protect teams, and comply with advice on good hygiene and ventilation.

“If we do all of this, frustrating though it all continues increasingly to be, we will help protect ourselves and our loved ones. As we continue to complete the vaccination programme, which does offer us still the route back to greater normality, we will make it easier for more restrictions to be gradually and sensibly lifted in the weeks ahead.”

However, uncertainty remains a concern for business explains Vicki Unite: “August 9th has been ‘writ large’ in businesses’ calendars and I think they will still look towards that date as one where all restrictions are lifted, and consider today’s announcement as hopefully just a small bump on the road for some.

“It’s perhaps the continuing uncertainty that is causing the greatest anxiety and this will certainly dent confidence in the short term. I understand a revision or update of the guidance may happen in the next day or two and would hope this takes place as soon as possible.”

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