Spending in Aberdeenshire pubs remains very low
Limits on social contact are keeping down spending in Aberdeenshire pubs, new figures suggest, despite the reopening of the hospitality sector to more customers in recent weeks.
Trade organisations said a delay to the easing of coronavirus restrictions in Scotland – which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said is likely to be three weeks – would force many pubs to close.
Banking firm Revolut analysed the data of its 15,000 customers in Aberdeenshire between May 17 – when indoor hospitality resumed – and June 13.
Aberdeenshire punters spent 75 per cent less in pubs over this period than they did in February 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that mainland Scotland's move to the lowest level of coronavirus restrictions will “likely” be pushed back by three weeks.
She added: "While we have had to pause the route-map, we do still – and I want to emphasise this point – we do still hope that vaccination will allow us over this summer to move beyond level 0, and back to a much greater degree of normality."
Revolut figures also show that spending in restaurants in Aberdeenshire was 49 per cent below normal in the four weeks to June 13.
UKHospitality Scotland said the delay to lifting restrictions further adds continuing uncertainty for hospitality businesses.
Executive director Leon Thompson said: “Many are struggling to keep trading in the face of restrictions, whilst some of our members remain closed.