Tourism gets date to restart

All tourist facilities on Arran are closed as this photograph of a deserted crazy golf in Brodick shows.

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Scotland’s tourism businesses, including pubs, hotels and restaurants, have been told to prepare to reopen on July 15. But tourism secretary Fergus Ewing told the Scottish Parliament the date was conditional on moving to the third phase of the route map for easing lockdown restrictions.

The plan will also allow B&Bs, holiday homes – for rent and use by owners – shops and visitor attractions to reopen, with social distancing measures in place.

Announcing a new taskforce, Mr Ewing said businesses needed clarity to be able to plan for reopening which would focus on the sector’s recovery needs, actions being taken by the UK government and the development of a new domestic visitor marketing campaign.

In a statement, CalMac managing director Robbie Drummond told the Banner: ‘We have great sympathy with the position of island businesses – particularly those which rely on tourism and we have been working with tourism representatives across our network to discuss how we can help them rebuild after COVID-19.

‘We are exploring all options and discussing future timetable options with Transport Scotland. However, the decision on who can travel and physical distancing on board our ferries remains a matter of government policy with the First Minister saying as recently as today (June 9) that the 2m physical distancing policy will not be changing.’