The extended use of vaccine certificates in Scotland would leave events and hospitality businesses in an impossible financial situation, according to trade bodies the Night Time Industries Association, Scottish Beer and Pub Association, Scottish Hospitality Group and The Scottish Licensed Trade Association
The organisations carried out a survey of more than 150 business owners and operators, which found 83.6% had seen turnover drop more than 10% on pre-pandemic levels.
The survey also found that if vaccine passports were extended to wider hospitality some 76.2% of businesses would not survive the winter without further government support and 95.4% would have to cut staff hours.
The survey also found that for those businesses already impacted by the policy 95.2% said has seen trade negatively impacted, 87.2% had seen trade reduced by more than 20% since the introduction of the scheme, and less than 1% said business had been unaffected.
The scheme, which requires people attending a range of late night venues and larger indoor and outdoor live events, such as music festivals or large sporting events, to show staff proof they are fully vaccinated or are otherwise exempt in order to gain entry, was launched on 1 October but was not enforced until 18 October. Last month, it was described as an “unmitigated disaster” by the SHG.
The five trade bodies issued a joint statement that said, “From this survey it is clear to see that Scotland’s hospitality sector is in a precarious situation, making the recovery period all the more important. Four out of five businesses are significantly below pre-pandemic levels and with inflation, debt levels and other costs rising, the sector is facing a very difficult winter ahead.
“The survey also shows that Covid certification has a hugely negative impact on businesses already caught by the policy and any extension will have a devastating impact on the wider hospitality sector. Three quarters say they would not survive without further economic support from Government, should the policy be extended.
“It’s a similarly worrying picture for staff with over 95% of businesses saying that if trade reduced in line with expectations, they would have to reduce staff hours by the same or greater percentage as the loss of turnover. Given that turnover has reduced by 20% to 40% for businesses impacted by the scheme, this would be a devastating blow for the sector’s 100,000 workers just in the run-up to Christmas. The Scottish Government must take this into consideration when making the decision on any extension of the Covid certification and provide the economic support to keep thousands of businesses afloat.”
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