Commenting on the Scottish Government’s decision to maintain level 2 restrictions on both local authorities in our region, Russell Borthwick, chief executive of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce said:
“The decision to hold level 2 restrictions in place across the North-east will be met with real frustration and disappointment by many businesses in the region. Firms accept that suppressing the virus must be a priority, but the purpose of the Strategic Framework was to create clarity around the application of restrictions, not to cause more confusion.
“With every metric in both Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire currently standing at ‘low’ or ‘very low’, our businesses are justified in asking why there has been no change to our status. We called this a blueprint to go backwards when it was announced and nothing we are seeing makes us change that view. The decision-making clearly remains subjective and does not fully take into account the ongoing impact on the health of our economy.
“The unemployment statistics released today act as just one further reminder of the economic and social challenges being stored up by the approach we are seeing, with redundancies at a record high. Our young people are being particularly badly affected.
“The only sustainable way to protect jobs and livelihoods is to move towards a managed and safe re-opening of the economy. We continue to call on the Scottish Government to clearly set out what the routemap is towards easing these restrictions in line with the risk and an indicative date for moving all parts of our region towards level one or zero where we can start to see some light at the end of a long and dark tunnel for live events, venues and easing of restrictions on our hard hit hospitality sector.”