Edinburgh’s SNP council leader calls for Capital restaurants to be allowed extended opening hours
And he also called on Edinburgh residents to ‘do our bit’ and stick to social distancing guidelines and prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
Edinburgh's hospitality industry has been massively impacted by the pandemic, with a number of household name establishments struggling for survival and others closing their doors for good. The situation has sparked repeated calls from top-name chefs for a relaxation of the strict rules.
Councillor McVey made the comments in his monthly report, which has been published ahead of the next full meeting of Edinburgh City Council, due to take place on Thursday November 19.
His report reads: “The news this week that Edinburgh is remaining in Tier 3 will have come as disappointment to many but the latest figures show that we are on track and could soon be moved to a lower tier.
“We’re in regular contact with the Scottish government and other agencies as we prepare to emerge from restrictions – and to communicate clearly what this means to residents and businesses.
“We all appreciate the extremely challenging circumstances faced by businesses across the city, many of which have worked hard to adapt to changing public health guidance.
“I want to thank the hospitality sector in Edinburgh for their efforts in keeping our communities safe – I know none of this is easy. I will continue to make the case for revising conditions in the tiers, such as opening hours for hospitality.
“Later closing, for example, would allow restaurants to run a second evening sitting.
“Testing and tracing are of course pivotal to our work to limit the virus’s spread so it was encouraging to see the latest walk-through Covid-19 test centre open at Leith Library – the third council venue that we’ve made available, following the successful opening of centres in the Usher Hall and Gate 55.
“Let’s keep sticking together on this, Edinburgh. Only if we all do our bit to follow the rules will we be able to help the capital move towards a lower tier, as safely and as sustainably as possible.”
Joseph Anderson, Local Democracy Reporting Service