Gillian Martin MSP welcomes new statutory guidance measures for hospitality venues

Gillian Martin MSP has welcomed the new statutory guidance measures for hospitality venues which will be outlined later this week

The Scottish Government will announce plans for new statutory guidance measures later this week after an outbreak of coronavirus in hospitality establishments in the North-East.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said bars and restaurants would be required to collect contact details from all customers as well as ensuring one-metre distance rules were adhered to as well as preventing congregating at bars and long queues.

It comes after Aberdeen City was put into a local lockdown after a cluster outbreak of more than COVID-19 cases.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin asked the Health Secretary during questions on the pandemic what measures were being taken for pubs, bars and restaurants to safely reopen.

Following the outbreak in Aberdeen, MSPs had been told many establishments did not have correct details for patrons.

Ms Martin also expressed concerns about images which emerged following the outbreak showing crowds of people waiting to be admitted to bars without a prior booking.

The Health Secretary said the Scottish Government plans to outline rules which will become statutory rather than mandatory following the outbreak in Aberdeen on Friday.

Ms Freeman said she shared “serious concerns” that a small minority of businesses had not been complying with rules upon reopening.

Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said

In order for the hospitality industry in the North-East to reopen it is essential that businesses adhere to the guidance set out by the Scottish Government to provide names and contact numbers for Test and Protect.

It is vital that social distancing is followed and there is no queuing or congregating at bars.

I am sure I speak for many when I say I was shocked to see some of the images which showed bars with far too many people waiting to get in.

I am pleased the Scottish Government will set out statutory measures to ensure businesses do so to protect patrons and staff members.

We want businesses in the North-East to be able to function and to reopen but in a manner that is safe to do so.

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