Scottish shops to reopen on Friday
Scottish shops under the tightest restrictions will reopen from Friday morning, following an announcement from the First Minister.
Nicola Sturgeon said they had carried out the latest review of the Scottish coronavirus restrictions. In her announcement she:
- Confirmed all 11 local authorities currently in Level 4 would move into Level 3 on Friday (City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, East and West Dunbartonshire, North and South Lanarkshire, East and South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian)
- Retailers in those local authorities will be able to open at 06:00 on Friday, a change from the previous announcement of 18:00.
- Clackmannanshire, Dundee, Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian, North Ayrshire, and Perth & Kinross will all remain in Level 3
- Inverclyde, Falkirk and Angus will move into level 2, joining Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, Argyll & Bute
- The Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway enter Level 1, joining Highland, Moray, Western Isles, Orkney, Shetland
According to the Scottish Retail Consortium:
- Scottish Ministers are worried about a shopping surge this coming weekend, in particular customers travelling into Glasgow and key retail destinations, so best to be aware of this as retailers consider their preparations for re-opening
- The Scottish Government is also looking at banning shops from playing music in line with similar restrictions on hospitality venues, this is likely to be put into guidance in the coming days.
- The ‘weekly review’ on December 15 is likely to be the last until into January (notwithstanding the Christmas bubble arrangements being held on a combined four home nation basis). Both before and after the Christmas bubble arrangements the Level is expected to remain the same.
David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Permitting shops in the 11 local lockdown areas to effectively re-open a day earlier than planned is as welcome as it is sensible. It should help spread out shopper numbers over the coming weekend and make for a safer shopping experience for customers and for staff.
“Hundreds of Scottish stores are looking forward to welcoming back customers on Friday. The run up to Christmas is crunch time for many retailers, with one in every eight pounds traditionally spent in December. It will be an undoubted struggle to make up for the lost revenue following the past three weeks of forced closure, however many retailers are extending opening hours, offering discounts, and looking at other ways to create an enjoyable and safe shopping experience and bring back customers.
“Celebrations will be a little different this year, but we all want to keep Christmas special. To avoid disappointment, and to keep everyone as safe as possible, we are encouraging people not to leave their shopping – in-store or online – to the last minute. Shoppers can play their part by adhering to the rules on face-coverings, social distancing and hand-sanitising.
“The public can do their Christmas shopping confident that retail operations are Covid-secure and retailers are doing everything possible to keep them safe, and bringing forward re-opening is a welcome vote of confidence in that effort. With plenty of gifts and other festive items on offer, everyone can shop in the knowledge that every purchase we make is a retailer and supplier helped, a job protected and a local community supported.”
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