Commenting on the CV19 update this afternoon from the First Minister, Russell Borthwick, chief executive of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce said:

“In light of the recent announcement by the Prime Minister and significant speculation, this likely further delay to the easing of restrictions will come as little surprise to businesses in the North-east.

“However, let’s be clear that the situation for many businesses continues to be on a knife-edge. Beleaguered hospitality firms are still working under significant restrictions and a path to a genuine return to normal operations for our live events and culture sector, or simply businesses who want to work fully from their offices, remains opaque.

“This delay must be used productively to ramp up vaccinations and minimise any risk of further pauses to easing restrictions. Furthermore, the long-awaited physical distancing review, and look forward to ‘beyond level zero’, both due to be unveiled next week, must live up to expectations and provide the much-needed clarity that our business community are crying out for.

“Finally, both the UK and Scottish Governments need to ensure that the impact of this delay is fully reflected by reviewing business support packages, including the postponement of increased employer contributions to the furlough scheme.”

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