Murdo Fraser raises issue of self-catering businesses not being included in phase 2 of lockdown exit

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser is calling for the Scottish Government to look again at its lockdown exit programme after stating he feels it is hindering tourism businesses.

The politician recently raised the matter of tourism businesses being “lumped” in the same category as hotels and Bed and Breakfast accommodation with Deputy First Minister John Swinney at the Covid-19 committee.

Mr Swinney was questioned by the committee members on various aspects of the Scottish Government’s four-phase lockdown exit plan.

Commenting, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “I receive a very high correspondence from tourism businesses in my constituency who are asking for some clarity on the lockdown exit plan. These businesses need to know if they will have some form of tourism season and if they can take any bookings.

“One aspect of the strategy that has been questioned, chiefly by self-catering operators, is that they can’t understand why they are being lumped in phase three, together with providers of hotels, when it seems the issues surrounding them are quite different.

“For example, it should be relatively easy to self-isolate with family members in a holiday lodge or cottage but not so easy in a hotel. I asked the Deputy First Minister what the differentials were and why these tourism businesses were put in the same category as hotels in phase three of the plan and if this was something the Scottish Government might be able to reconsider.

“The delay in tourism businesses re-opening is a serious matter.”

Mr Fraser continued: “The Deputy First Minister told the committee that the Scottish Government are looking at all aspects of the roadmap out of lockdown to see if they have been correctly applied and conceded that the issue of tourism businesses was one he is aware of.

“This is a very important issue - being put in phase 3 of the roadmap is hindering tourism businesses. I will continue to pursue this issue with the Scottish Government to see if they will look again at this part of the lockdown exit programme.”

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