Sturgeon outlined the country’s exit out of lockdown restrictions yesterday (23 February), giving businesses a timeframe of when they can expect to reopen.
Scotland’s stay-at-home order is likely to remain in place until 5 April, but schools are set to reopen for students from 15 March.
Speaking to the Scottish parliament, Sturgeon said that “if everything goes to plan” the country will move back to the levels system of Covid-19 restrictions from the last week of April, with all council areas moving to Level 3.
This will include a “phased but significant reopening of the economy, including non-essential retail, hospitality and services like gyms and hairdressers”, according to Sturgeon.
Willie Macleod, UKHospitality Scotland’s executive director, said: “A reopening date, even an ambiguous one, is a small step in the right direction for businesses that have been closed.
“The priority for Scottish hospitality businesses is getting their doors open again and welcoming back customers. Businesses desperately need revenue and they cannot hope to survive if they remain closed for much longer.”
He added: “We need much more detail, though, to really get to grips with the challenge of reopening. We will need details of the type of restrictions businesses will be under and the timeframe for easing them.
“It appears that hospitality will be shunted back into unrealistic level 3 restrictions, which will be immensely damaging for the sector. We cannot expect businesses to survive such severe constraints on trading over such a prolonged period and face yet more uncertainty.”