Tourism given July 15 as provisional re-opening date

A provisional date of July 15 has been set for when tourism businesses in Scotland may be able to resume operations “dependent on public health advice and progression to Phase 3 of the Scottish Government lockdown route-map.”

Tourism spending in Scotland amounted to £5.1 billion in 2018.

Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing announced the news.

The Scottish Government said a new Scottish Recovery Tourism Taskforce will assist with the ongoing reset of the sector.

Ewing made the announcements during a statement to the Scottish Parliament.

Ewing said: “The coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges across the entirety of the Scottish economy, but it is very clear there are exceptional circumstances facing this sector that must be recognised.

“We have acted as quickly as we can to address the significant financial challenges faced by businesses and provide a comprehensive package of support.

“We are also pushing the UK Government to do more, including a review of VAT rates and to consider extensions to schemes such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

“I’ve been engaging with businesses since the beginning of the outbreak and I have heard their calls for more clarity which today I can provide.

“Businesses should start to prepare for a provisional return to trading – with appropriate safety guidelines – on the 15th July 2020.

“This date cannot be definitive and is conditional on public health advice and progression to Phase 3 of the route map.

“Businesses must now use this time to satisfy the necessary regulations and adapt to the new way of living.”