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Nicola Sturgeon on Wednesday announced pubs across Scotland will be forced to operate on a daytime-only basis and shut down at 6pm to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney insisted the decision is justified as the number of new COVID-19 infections continued to increase across the nation. But Good Morning Britain host Ben Shephard pointed out data has shown infections are less likely to occur in pubs and restaurants compared to private homes.
Mr Shephard said: “We can’t stop people going home, of course, they have to live at home.
“But the frustration from the hospitality sector is that you are decimating their industry when only 20 percent is being traced back to the hospitality industry. Which is relatively few.”
He continued: “And if you could keep that open, support the economy, support their jobs, support thousands of jobs across Scotland…I understand Boris Johnson made similar changes in England, but if you could support them then actually you manage that spread.
“Because within their restaurants, their pubs, their bars they are being really strict about the lack of social distancing because their businesses are on the line.
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“Why not police those areas where people aren’t being so strict?”
Pub owners across Scotland have been calling on the Scottish Government to provide them with more details on the data behind the move.
Hospitality sector bosses have warned forcing restaurants and pubs to shut down for another two weeks when the industry is already struggling could have a devastating impact.
Mr Swinney insited the Government could not “be passive” as the number of new COVID-19 infections increases.
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He said: “We’ve shown the very significant increases in the spread of the virus among the older age group, and by the older age group I mean people over 40.
“That’s happening at quite a significant level in some age groups, doubling within a week.
“That will significantly increase the vulnerability of the population, it will a much more negative harm on individuals and the Government has decided we cannot just be passive about that happening.
“We’ve got to act to stem the virus.”
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