Covid-19 Lockdown: Next Steps

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Liam Kerr Liam Kerr Conservative

Willie Rennie’s first question was timeous, because yesterday Aberdeen was rocked by the news that the Doubletree by Hilton hotel will close immediately, with the loss of all jobs. Difficult trading conditions were cited, which include the current crisis and punitive business rates.

Scotland’s tourism industry will have noted that, in phase 2, pubs and restaurants can open outdoor spaces with distancing and hygiene routines in place, but that will take some time. As the First Minister made clear, it will be some time before tourism businesses in general reopen to full capacity, so there is a real risk that many will not survive between now and reopening. Will the First Minister remind the former Hilton employees what support is available? What support can she offer the sector more generally until the lockdown measures allow full operation?