Responding to the latest update on lockdown restrictions and the outline of indicative dates for the re-opening of the economy from the First Minister, Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
“Businesses have been patiently waiting for indicative dates to re-open and today’s announcement is a good start. It will enable many businesses and customers to start planning and preparing for re-opening with confidence and optimism.
“In particular, the intention to relax travel restrictions should support the viability of the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors. We are pleased to hear that the Scottish Government will work with the UK Government and the travel & aviation sectors to look at the detail as to how international travel can re-open safely and quickly. We also need to see clarification of what is allowed in the various levels of restrictions, sooner rather than later. We would urge alignment across all UK nations which enables the industry to restart together and to avoid confusion for travellers.
“There is still a lot of work to be done to plan for the re-opening of the remaining sectors of the economy. We are now looking to engage on the granular detail of the levels, associated criteria and trigger points. We will work with government to help enable that to be done as quickly and as safely as possible, in line with the continued successful roll-out of the vaccination programme.”
On the establishment of restart grants, Dr Cameron said:
“It makes more sense to provide businesses with a lump sum so they can deploy these resources where it can be of most use – businesses themselves are the best judges of this. Businesses will welcome the certainty of when they can expect the funds to be allocated and we look forward to working with Scottish Government and local government to ensure this process runs as smoothly as possible.”