Holiday Accommodation Sector (Covid-19 Guidance)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 16th December 2020.

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Photo of Colin Beattie Colin Beattie Scottish National Party

1. To ask the Scottish Government what guidance it is providing to the holiday accommodation sector regarding the relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions over Christmas. (S5O-04833)

Photo of Mairi Gougeon Mairi Gougeon Scottish National Party

We published our guidance for the festive period on 26 November, and it was subsequently updated with amendments for the accommodation sector, in recognition of the fact that families socialising with relatives in order to alleviate social isolation might require holiday accommodation as a safer option.

Our accommodation sector guidance for the period was developed in line with public health advice, and is intended to minimise spread of the virus. It therefore requires that stays take place in the same local authority area as the place that is the main residence of one of the households. Sectoral guidance on distancing and hygiene should be followed.

Photo of Colin Beattie Colin Beattie Scottish National Party

What support is being considered for holiday accommodation businesses that have had reduced bookings because of the restrictions—in particular, over what would usually be a busy festive period?

Photo of Mairi Gougeon Mairi Gougeon Scottish National Party

We absolutely understand that this has been a difficult and challenging time for businesses, and especially for businesses in the holiday accommodation sector. Since the pandemic began, we have provided £2.3 billion-worth of support to businesses of all types across Scotland, including holiday accommodation businesses.

However, we absolutely recognise the impact that further restrictions have had, so the strategic framework business fund offers financial support to businesses that are legally required to close, or which have been required to modify their operations. That includes eligible holiday accommodation. Just last week, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance announced £185 million more funding to help impacted businesses through the winter, with £60 million being allocated to tourism. We are currently working with partners to develop that funding support and will announce the details shortly.