17 Mar 2021

Bira 'disappointed' as most non-essential retail in Scotland will have to wait to reopen

Bira has expressed disappointment all 'non-essential' retail will not be allowed to reopen in Scotland alongside hairdressers and garden centres.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made an announcement about the exit roadmap on Tuesday, March 16, saying some shops, including garden centres and homeware reatilers, and services such as hairdressers would be able to resume in the country on April 5. Click and collect services of all retailers would also be allowed to resume then.

A summary of the changes are as follows:

  • April 2
    • Stay at Home order moves to stay local – travel locally for non-essential purposes now permitted
  • April 5
  • April 12
    • All school pupils to return (following the Easter holidays)
  • April 26
    • All shops, stores and close contact services can open
    • Travel within mainland Scotland allowed.
    • Up to 4 people from 2 households can socialise indoors in a public place such as a café or restaurant.
    • Hospitality venues like cafes, pubs and restaurants can open until: 8p.m. indoors (no alcohol) 10p.m. outdoors (alcohol permitted)
    • Non-essential in-house work permitted
    • Tourist accommodation can open with restrictions in place
    • Takeaway food can be collected indoors
  • May 17
    • Hospitality venues can open until: 10:30p.m. indoors (alcohol permitted, 2 hour dwell time) 10:00p.m outdoors (alcohol permitted)
    • Face-to-face support services (where not possible to deliver remotely) can resume.
  • End of June
    • Some office staff to return

Speaking about the changes, Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO, said: "We are pleased to see more shops allowed to re-open as from April 5. However, we would like to see the evidence supporting this phased re-opening approach and why these shops are any safer than other non-essential businesses. We are particularly curious by the approach to hairdressing.

"Previously regarded as a ‘close contact’ service, it has always opened up later than shops. Now, as in Wales, it appears that scientific evidence has changed 180o and so these businesses can now open. We do not want to see hairdressers closed, but we feel strongly that if close contact businesses can open, then the rest of retail should be allowed to do so. For many non-essential retailers, each week closed is another week closer to going out of business, and in truth, these measure will not make a big enough difference."

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