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The Football Before Level Three Lockdown: ‘it’s Almost Like it was Done for one Night, but it was Well Worth it’

LISTEN: Gavin Price gives his thoughts on how the level 3 restrictions are impacting Highland Perthshire

Now that Highland Perthshire is under level 3 Coronavirus restrictions it is far harder to go to restaurants, pubs and cafes than it has been only week before now.

Alcohol cannot be served in any of these eateries to customers sitting in and they all have to close by six pm.

Gavin Price is the owner of four local pubs in Highland Perthshire and he said: “I guess there’s hospitality businesses which are all in the same boat in having to make a difficult decision whether to remain open or try to remain open.

“And hopefully be able to look after people’s jobs and the businesses survive themselves, so my thoughts go out to everybody involved in that.”

Gavin has had to close two of his own four pubs saying, ‘it’s just a case of suck it and see really.’

For Gavin, his frustrations come from being ‘lumped in with the south part of Perthshire’ when his pub, the Fountain Bar, is in Aberfeldy, compared to the freedoms experienced in the Highlands.

The Highlands are in level 1 restrictions in comparison to level 3 restrictions experienced in Highland Perthshire.

That means they are free to stay open until 10:30 pm and allow the sale of alcohol to people both indoors and out.

Gavin said: “The [Highlands] area there, geographically, is so similar to our area, Highland Perthshire if you go from Aberfeldy to Rannoch, to Pitlochry, Blair Atholl, it’s very similar in sort of areas as you head into the Highlands.

“It’s quite frustrating when you see how we’ve adapted to social measures in our area.”

Although Gavin added ‘I totally understand the government have a near impossible job to try and do the right thing through this.’

Deputy First Minister and Perthshire North representative, John Swinney, said: “The news that Perth and Kinross is moving from level two to level three restrictions will obviously be disappointing for local people and local businesses.”

He added: “But it’s been a necessary move because of the increase in cases within the Perth and Kinross area.

“And the Scottish Government has decided to take early intervention and early preventative action to try to make sure that we suppress the spread of the virus.”

Although, there was no time to mourn the move into level 3 restrictions across his bars explained Gavin.

The same night the level 2 restrictions were to end and be replaced by the new level 3 rules, Scotland beat Serbia in the UEFA European Championship Qualifier.

Reacting to the victory scored by Scotland, Gavin, who also manages the Elgin City Football Club, said: “[I was] delighted obviously from a Scottish point of view, being a big football person as well, it was a good way to sign off.

“I’ll give you an example, at the Blackwatch we invested a lot of time and money into getting the outdoor area covered.

“We got the heaters in and manged to actually get a television in the window for people to watch, it’s almost like it was done for one night, but it was well worth it.

“I wasn’t there myself, but I believe there was a fantastic atmosphere and great to see our country for the first time in 22 year’s so it was a good night to sign off on.”

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