CAMRA says Sturgeon statement delivers bitter blow for Scottish pubs

CAMRA’s Scotland Director has responded to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s statement asking businesses to take measures to avoid crowding in bars and between tables,

Joe Crawford said, “This is another terrible blow for licensees, brewers and consumers as they await the full details of what the First Minister’s plan for ‘avoiding crowding’ in bars is going to mean in practice.

“Any return to table service only risks destroying all the progress that has been made to rebuild Scotland’s once-thriving beer and pubs sector.

“The industry now faces further cancellations, another downturn in custom and the inability to trade at a viable capacity if we see the return of table service. A £100m fund to help hospitality businesses is welcome but won’t be sufficient to compensate businesses at this crucial time when they were relying on decent Christmas trade to help them recover and rebuild.'

Crawford concluded, “It is now vital that the UK and Scottish Governments urgently work together to provide the necessary financial compensation and job support for beer and pub businesses that were already facing an employment, supply chain and cost of goods crisis, as well as trade remaining well below pre-pandemic levels.”