Falkirk hotelier joins calls for government to ease alcohol ban

A Falkirk hotelier has joined calls for the Scottish Government to help business owners by easing guest restrictions.

Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 5:47 pm
The Orchard Hotel.
The Orchard Hotel.

William Crawford of the Orchard Hotel on Kerse Lane, has joined hundreds of other hotel owners across the country by endorsing a letter to Nicola Sturgeon.

The Scottish hospitality industry is urging the First Minister to make immediate changes to the Covid-19 measures introduced on October 9.

Some hotels have warned that the rules affecting most of Scotland, which prohibit the sale of alcohol in public areas to hotel guests, will lead to thousands of job losses because of a damaging drop in revenues.

However, under the current rules which affect the central belt alcohol can not be consumed at all on the premises, meaning guests, or residents, can not have a drink.

Mr Crawford said: “I agree with the essence of the letter. I think it’s unhelpful to stop residents drinking.

"Residents should be able to eat and drink as they see fit as long as they adhere to safety regulations. The current measures are far too strict.

"There needs to be more precise measures for the hotel industry.”

Leading the campaign is Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire.

In the letter to the First Minister, hotel MD Jill Chalmers stated: “Not being able to sell alcohol in public areas to hotel residents in Scotland negatively impacts their stay and future guests are already starting to cancel their bookings.

“This measure in particular is threatening the small thread of revenue – a lifeline for many – which still exists for hotel businesses in Scotland at this difficult time.

“We urge you to reconsider this and allow hotel guests, staying a minimum of one night, to consume alcohol in all settings, not simply room service alone. In addition, we believe that we should be able to serve non-residents until 6pm, as a café is allowed to do.

“If there is no change, we have no doubt that we will suffer deeper losses. We are talking about trying to survive, not about profitability. Without this small change in your policy, there will be thousands more job losses in the coming month.”