Edinburgh 'open for business' as restrictions lift for hairdressers, hotels and indoor pubs and restaurants

Scots will be allowed to venture back inside pubs in Edinburgh's Grassmarket from WednesdayScots will be allowed to venture back inside pubs in Edinburgh's Grassmarket from Wednesday
Scots will be allowed to venture back inside pubs in Edinburgh's Grassmarket from Wednesday
Today is one of the biggest single-day changes in the Scottish lockdown easing.

Edinburgh will “open for business” today as Scotland enters the next phase of lockdown restrictions being lifted.

Hairdressers and barbers will be allowed to re-open from today, and pubs and restaurants will be able to host customers indoors.

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Museums, galleries and other tourist attractions will open with advance ticketing in place, along with cinemas and libraries.

Hotels and other holiday accommodation will also re-open.

Childcare providers will also be allowed to accept children of non-key worker parents from today.

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Nicola Sturgeon last week praised the “collective effort” of Scottish people in tackling the spread of Covid-19.

"We should all savour our first indoor meetings and meals with friends, out first pint in a pub or catch up over coffee,” she said.

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“There will be other milestones and reunions that we will enjoy over the next few weeks. They have all been hard earned by each and everyone one of us.”

Depute Council Leader said it will be a “relief” to see Edinburgh open for business and thriving again.

He also appealed to locals to follow common sense, observe social distancing, and to report any unlawful behaviour.

Garry Clark, East of Scotland Development Manager for the Federation of Small businesses, said today’s re-openings constitute a “big chunk” of the city’s re-awakening after the lockdown.

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"It’s a big day in terms of the city beginning to look normal, or something approaching normal, again,” he said.

He added that there are still businesses which are unable to return to trading, including auction houses and amusement arcades.

Mr Clark urged Edinburgh locals to be patient and considerate when enjoying the new easing of restrictions.

"It’s a big day for a lot of these businesses as well, having been closed for four months, and having to get to grips with the government guidance,” he said.

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"We would appeal to customers to be understanding of the rules, to look them up online in advance, and to be patient with businesses.

"That will make for a much more enjoyable experience.”

Cammy Day, Depute Council Leader, said: “Businesses across the Capital have been counting down to this day. They have been putting a huge amount of work into making their premises safe and ready for all of us revisiting, and it will be relief to see the City open for business and thriving once again.

“Some workplaces still face challenges and will need to take a more gradual approach to re-opening. We’ve written out to around 20,000 owners with practical help and advice around this and we’ve been making our licensing service more flexible to help places like cafes and bars apply for outdoor seating. During lockdown we’ve also issued £100m to 8,000 businesses in support grants.

“There is, of course, some way to go before lockdown restrictions can lift completely. I imagine the vast majority of people will continue to use common sense, remembering to socially distance, wear face coverings, clean up after themselves and look out for one another. That said, if anyone is worried about what they see, it’s worth reporting it. For instance if you think a short-term let us operating unlawfully, we want to know.”

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