Nicola Sturgeon blasted for ‘betraying’ hospitality sector with shock new restrictions

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In addition a virus expert has warned figures have not “come tumbling down” despite Scotland’s miniature circuit-breaker across its central belt this month. For just under two weeks, Scotland has imposed stricter measures across certain areas including the closure of pubs and some other indoor venues.

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The Government had suggested the measures would only be temporary, lasting for around 16 days.

However, the First Minister then announced the restrictions would be extended for a further week.

On Friday, she confirmed the country would take a “new approach” with a five-tier lockdown system.

Nicola Sturgeon blasted for ‘betraying’ hospitality sector with shock new restrictions

Nicola Sturgeon has put a new five-tier system in place this week (Image: Jeff J Mitchell / Pool / Getty)

Analysts say it could place businesses under restrictions for ‘the foreseeable future’ rather than relaxing them.

Emma McClarkin of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association told The Telegraph the situation “cannot continue”.

She added: “We were told that these measures were to be ‘short’ and ‘sharp’ but now the Scottish Government have gone back on that, leaving operators feeling betrayed.”

READ: Anti-lockdown protests descend into chaos as people refuse to wear masks – 10 arrested

Nicola Sturgeon blasted for ‘betraying’ hospitality sector with shock new restrictions

A pile of ice on the floor in Glasgow after hospitality workers protest the new restrictions (Image: Ewan Bootman / NurPhoto / Getty)

Meanwhile, Hugh Pennington, Emeritus Professor of Microbiology at Scotland’s Aberdeen University, attacked the time span with which Ms Sturgeon approached the initial central belt restrictions.

The expert said the 16-day time span was “unrealistic” because it would not allow figures to come down in a way that would be “statistically significant”.

He also appeared to blast the effectiveness of the move in the first place.

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Nicola Sturgeon blasted for ‘betraying’ hospitality sector with shock new restrictions

Scotland’s tigher central belt restrictions were initially planned to last 16 days (Image: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty)

He told the Sunday Telegraph: “If you close the pubs, you’re going to stop pub outbreaks.

“You’re addressing little bits of the transmission route, but not really getting at the fundamentals, which is making sure people who have the virus, and their contacts, are kept away from everybody else by self-isolating.”

In a press conference on Friday, Ms Sturgeon insisted there were “signs of progress” because of the lockdown restrictions.

Nicola Sturgeon blasted for ‘betraying’ hospitality sector with shock new restrictions

Ms Sturgeon’s initial central belt plan was criticised by a microbiology expert (Image: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty)

She admitted cases were still rising but pointed to the rate of increase “which appears to be slowing down”.

First Minister also said it is “probably still too early for us to be seeing the full impact on case numbers of the restrictions on hospitality”.

Scotland’s new live-tier alert system will work similar to England’s one, in that it will apply regionally.

Nicola Sturgeon blasted for ‘betraying’ hospitality sector with shock new restrictions

Ms Sturgeon claimed the rate of increase of new infections in Scotland is slowing (Image: Ewan Bootman / NurPhoto / Getty)

The alert levels go from tier 0 to tier 4, with tier 4 being referred to as ‘Lockdown’.

Under that level, non-essential shops will be required to close as they were in the UK-wide lockdown imposed in March, though schools will remain open and ‘some outdoor meetings’ will be permitted.

Level 0 allows for eight people from three households to meet indoors, and groups of up to 15 can meet outdoors.

In Scotland, 1,433 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Friday with 11 new deaths.


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