Covid Scotland: 'Immediate threat' to hospitality jobs during Omicron spread, warns industry group

The Scottish Hospitality Group has said that a scheme to protect staff is now a ‘necessity’ as they warn of an ‘immediate threat’ to jobs as Omicron spreads across Scotland.

Thursday, 16th December 2021, 7:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th December 2021, 7:09 pm
The Scottish Hospitality Group has said that a scheme to protect staff is now a ‘necessity’ as they warn of an ‘immediate threat’ to to jobs as Omicron spreads across Scotland.  Picture: Lisa Ferguson
The Scottish Hospitality Group has said that a scheme to protect staff is now a ‘necessity’ as they warn of an ‘immediate threat’ to to jobs as Omicron spreads across Scotland.  Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The group posted an update on their Twitter page on Thursday night, following the First Minister’s update on Tuesday that more Covid measures will need to be brought in to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant in Scotland.

The comments come as the UK reported a record high of new Covid-19 cases, at 88,376, and Ms Sturgeon said Omicron was likely to be the dominant strain in Scotland by Friday.

As the variant spreads, Nicola Sturgeon has told Scots to “stay at home as much as is feasible” and she warned further restrictions to slow the spread of the Omicron variant may be “unavoidable”.

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A Scottish Hospitality spokesperson said: “There is an immediate threat to staff jobs with hospitality.

"A scheme to help protect those staff is not an option, but a necessity now.

"Staff well being and mental health is absolutely of vast importance & every measure should be taken to identify that support.”

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Responding to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s rejection of the First Minister’s call for an emergency Omicron covid meeting, Nicola Sturgeon said that if infections are not controlled then this will leave businesses unable to operate and make money.

Ms Sturgeon tweeted on Thursday: “The UK government inaction now will make this next phase of the Covid crisis much worse than it needs to be - if we don’t control infections, more people will suffer, the NHS will be overwhelmed, and cancellations/staff absences will leave businesses unable to operate/make money.

"Instead of the chaos of inaction, we need a managed response. We must advise people to cut social contacts to a minimum - as @scotgov has done - but then compensate businesses for the impact of fewer customers & support venues to cancel events if necessary.

"Devolved governments have no mechanism to trigger financial support at this scale - only @hmtreasury can.

"Notwithstanding reports of a refusal, I hope the PM will agree to talks as a matter of urgency. Urgent action is needed to protect the NHS, lives and livelihoods.”

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