Rachael Hamilton MSP has expressed her concern at the Scottish Government’s decision to not include self-catering properties in earlier stages of lockdown easing.
The Scottish Government’s Route Map shows that self-catering will form part of Phase 3 in terms of the relaxation of restrictions, placing it alongside hotels and B&B.
When assessing social distancing risks, self-catering units are the most appropriate forms of accommodation that could open first, as the majority of self-catering units have no shared facilities and represent a negligent risk.
The UK Government has identified self-caterers in their ‘amber’ recovery phase, hotels in the ‘red’ recovery phase, and the Welsh Government’s roadmap includes the opening of “accommodation businesses without shared facilities” in their amber phase.
Self-catering businesses were let down by the Scottish Government in the first round of support grants, after they were excluded from the eligibility criteria.
The Borders MSP believes a distinction between types of accommodation and a bespoke approach for self-catering is possible in Scotland, and offers people with the option of a ‘staycation’.
She is urging the Scottish Government to review its guidance and allow self-catering units to open in Phase 2.
Rachael Hamilton MSP said:
“Once again we have seen the self-catering industry let down by the SNP Government.
“First it was their ineligibility for Covid-19 business grants, now it’s the Government’s lack of understanding about the sector.
“Self-catering properties offer families a chance to enjoy a staycation, but remain isolated from other people in a cottage or chalet, for example.
“I urge the SNP Government to review the decision to place self-catering properties in Phase 3, as they pose different risks to opening hotels and B&Bs.
“I believe self-catering units should be allowed to reopen in Phase 2, in order to give the industry a chance to generate income again”.