SBPA reacts to FM announcement that indoor hospitality to open on 26 April

The CEO of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has commented on the announcement today by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that indoor hospitality in Scotland will open three weeks ahead of England.

Scotland will move back to a levels system on April 26 following months and months of lockdown.The country will enter level 3 then.

Emma McClarkin (pictured) said, “This is a positive announcement for our sector but unfortunately falls short of what is required to make licensed premises viable. We desperately need a return to licensing hours indoors, as well as allowing alcohol to be sold indoors from 26 April.

'The First Minister points to indoor reopening being ahead of England, but without alcohol service it is meaningless to licensed hospitality businesses and little comfort to Scottish brewers and other parts of the supply chain who will see no benefit.

“Whilst many sectors are allowed to return to near normal at Level 3, retaining a curfew makes trading exceptionally difficult for Scotland’s pubs and bars who feel they are being unfairly targeted by these restrictions.

'Businesses require certainty but unfortunately our sector will have to wait until the Government allows us to fully reopen before the recovery truly begins.”