Drive-in Entertainment (Closures)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 17th December 2020.

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Photo of Jackie Baillie Jackie Baillie Labour

From this weekend and over Christmas, drive-in movies and drive-in pantos were planned for Loch Lomond Shores in West Dumbartonshire and across many areas in Scotland. However, those have had to be cancelled, with the potential loss of hundreds of creative sector jobs. Many families in my constituency are disappointed as they thought that that was a safe way to have a little enjoyment at Christmas. Can the First Minister advise why those events are not allowed, when apparently they are allowed in every other country in the United Kingdom?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

We are trying to take as many precautions as possible to stop the increase in Covid cases, and we look carefully at all those things. Drive-through events are one of the class of events that we look at carefully—I can understand why people think that they are safe. However, we are advising against car sharing at the moment because we know that the enclosed environment in cars can pose a risk of transmission. Drive-through events also have to have things such as toilet facilities, and there is often catering on those sites.

The combination of those factors has led us, regrettably, to the conclusion that it is not safe in the current circumstances for those events to go ahead. I know that that is disappointing. Everybody is bitterly disappointed that this Christmas cannot be celebrated in the normal ways and I am really sorry for that, particularly for children who cannot do all the things that children love doing at this time of year, from going to Santa’s grottoes, to pantomimes and all sorts of things. We hope that by this time next year, everybody will be taking part in those activities much more normally, but I ask people, no matter how disappointed they are, to be understanding of the reasons why those decisions are, unfortunately, essential.