The trade body says the aim of the request was to establish exactly what information is held by the Scottish Government that has been used in making policy decisions about restrictions on normal trading practice.
A request was sent on 4 November and acknowledged on 5 November, which is 27 working days past today, allowing one day for the St Andrew’s Day public holiday.
The FOI request reads: “We would like any records relating to the scientific, statistical, or medical evidence for restrictions that have been put in place on the Scottish hospitality sector, such as pubs and restaurants, at any point between the date of this request and 1 March 2020. These may be, but not limited to, briefing papers, reports, emails, meeting minutes or any other official document.”
“The First Minister increasingly defends her cabinet’s decisions by saying no politician wants to take unpopular decisions,” says Scottish Hospitality Group spokesperson Stephen Montgomery.
“Motives are not the point here. We are allowed to question and criticise government policy without that being deflected as somehow doubting her intentions.”
The trade body says that it has “huge concerns” over the advice that the government is acting on and the judgements it is making.
“Far from being part of the problem, responsible hospitality businesses are part of the solution to Covid-19,” the spokesman continues.
“Rather than engage meaningfully with the sector and discuss how we can work together to protect public health, the government continues to take decisions such as moving the goalposts on Edinburgh’s move into level 2.”
“Meanwhile, hundreds of operators in the central belt, forced to close for the three week ‘short sharp shock’ in October, still await the First Minister’s promised £1650. It remains our hope that if the government will listen to the sector and understand our position, we can still move forward positively together.”