It is unfair to blame the Scottish Licensed trade and Hospitality industry for the increased spread of Covid 19 virus as we have done everything the Scottish Government, the UK Government, our local Authority and our trade bodies have asked us to do thus making our businesses safe and comfortable for both staff & customers and offering our services in a controlled and responsible, but silent. environment.
We shut down completely for 13 weeks as instructed
We furloughed or lost our teams of loyal well- trained staff
We applied for home delivery / off sales permission
We encouraged customers to drink at home to help relieve the boredom
We delivered in a safe manor to self isolating customers
We applied for occasional licenses to permit extended outdoor areas
We purchased new outdoor drinking furniture
We erected new outdoor gazebo table covers for the unreliable Scottish summer weather
We conducted our own Covid 19 risk assessment
We created a new way of working our businesses
We retrained our staff to be aware of the risks & dangers of this virus & safe operating procedures
We introduced staff masks to be worn at all times during service and in contact with customers
We introduced house hygiene rules for staff
We introduced house hygiene rules for customers
We introduced house hygiene rules for deliveries
We put down tape line spacing
We erected signage to explain the house rules and the legal requirements
We introduced track and trace information forms for all guests on each visit
We moved our tables to ensure correct spacing
We steralised tables and chairs between change over of use
We supplied sanitiser, tissues and a copy of the house rules on all tables
We stopped all live music and we turned off sport commentary
We even turned off background music with the huge effect of killing our atmosphere
We moved drinkers and diners outside
We opened our doors and windows
We sanitised the whole interior of our buildings on a daily basis
We introduced regular sanitising of all toilets and touch points
We introduced only table service
We introduced booking only operations
We reopened only our outdoor facilities as permitted on the 6th July
We reopened our indoor facilities, with hugely reduced numbers, as permitted on 15th July
We introduced reduced food menus
We policed our customers ensuring no more than 6 people to a group as instructed
We respected family bubbles as instructed
We closed our businesses at 10pm, as instructed, ensuring all customers off the premises by that time
(even though our customers could not get taxis or other transport at that time to get home therefore creating uncontrolled crowds on street reminiscent of the bad old licensing days)
Now we have returned to an immediate licensed trade shut down with only one and a half days’ notice despite the Scottish First Minister assuring the country that plenty notice will be given. We closed at 6pm on Friday 9th October for 16 days (initially) in the middle of a busy weekend shift having stocked our businesses with perishable foods which will have to be destroyed & staff losing shifts and probably jobs.
While we, as an industry, will do anything to rid our country of the dreaded Corona Virus we are still awaiting, despite continued requests, actual substantial evidence from either the Scottish or UK Government that visiting our well managed & responsible premises has caused the increase in spread.
Signed: MR ANGRY from Bridge of Allan. Saturday 10th October 2020
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