By Kiana Greenan
Nicola Sturgeon announced her new lockdown restrictions to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 8th December. These new restrictions included moving Dumfries and Galloway and other parts of the Scottish Borders to tier 1. She stated in the announcement –
“In reaching decisions today, we have had to consider the potential overall impact of moving to a lower level of restrictions at the same time as the Christmas period begins in earnest,” she said.
“That has led us to a proportionate but still cautious set of conclusions.”
In tier 1 hospitality can almost open up to full potential, with pubs being open till 10.30pm. However, the central belt has only been moved to tier 3 which means pubs and night clubs will not be able to open at all – nightclubs and pubs have been left out once again.
This week has also seen the introduction to the new covid vaccine, with 91 year old Margaret Keenan becoming the first person to receive the vaccine in the UK https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55227325. It was stated earlier in the month by vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi that entertainment places such as bars and cinemas may want an ‘immunity passport’ So is this the way forward for night clubs and bars?
Interview with Stephen O’Regan and Matthew Philips
Stephen O’Regan, regional manager of , Kitty O’Sheas an Irish pub which operates in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Has stated that ‘something major’ has to be done, when asked his thoughts on a compulsory vaccine to visit pubs and operate at a full capacity with music. Kitty O’Sheas would usually see up to 1000 customers a day in December with Christmas bookings beginning in August. With Glasgow and Edinburgh both remaining in high tiers the bar will now be shut for the foreseeable during the Christmas period. Luckily Kitty O’Sheas was able to open when the first lockdown was loosened, however was unable to play music and table service was made compulsory.
A normal St.Patricks Day at Kitty O’Sheas. Stephen is hopeful with the introduction of a Covid vaccine that this will make a return in March 2021.
Places now functioning in tier 1 can serve alcohol without a ‘substantial’ meal, however can only remain open until 10.30pm. This means that nightclubs and late bars will not be able to open again. Matthew Phillips, bar manager of RUMORglasgow nightclub in Glasgow has his expressed his fears of nightclub closures due to this. Nightclubs in Scotland have not been open since March, and Matthew has stated that 4 in 5 will close over the Christmas period. In contrast to Stephen, Matthew does not think a compulsory vaccine would be fair – but agrees something major must be done to save the nightclubs. Rumor nightclub would usually be hosting their Christmas nights, including various promotional offers and events over the festive period. This December, it remains dormant.