NOBODY will be tuning into the Scottish Government’s reviews of our lockdown limits than those running our tourist industry.

It’s important to Scotland as a whole, of course, but this little corner of Argyll and Bute is hoping and praying for news which will help them open up for what’s left of the summer.

Just imagine the frustration of being closed all April and May when the Scottish weather, perverse to the last, decided that a lockdown was the perfect moment to drop the script and give us weeks of glorious sunshine.

Not all the problems are common to every establishment; some are site specific. Island communities are reliant on ferry traffic for visitors, and thus far the only people using them have had to require them for work-related travel.

For mainland hotels and guest houses, the difficulties are of a different order. Like many other businesses, they are hoping for a relaxation from a two to a one-metre separation.

This week I had a blether with Beth Macleod who runs the award-winning Knockderry Country House hotel with her husband Murdo.

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She’s desperate to open up their terrace and function room but argues that it’s nigh impossible to observe the two-metre rule and serve food. She read the guidelines issued two weeks ago by the Irish government where the judgement over what safety measures to use was largely left to the discretion of the owner.

“And it has to be that way,” says Beth, “because different sized venues will have to make arrangements appropriate to their own premises.”

Where she found the Irish guidelines more problematical was their suggestion that if there were not automatically-opening doors, there would have to be someone there on duty.

“And that’s just not possible for anyone with a limited staff,” she adds.

The other headache, as it has been with day trippers to the Loch Lomond area, is how to manage toilet facilities. Even temporary additional ones would still be subject to increased cleaning to maintain hygiene.

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And, says Beth, everything you need to buy in for re-opening from hand sanitisers to awnings are at a premium price just now.

“I almost feel as if I’m starting an entirely new business, except that this time, because of cancelled or postponed bookings I’m starting it with pre-existing debts, and additional overheads,” she says.

She acknowledges the tension between essential safety and economic necessity, but watched as establishments in France operated these last few days at a one-metre distance.

“It was almost business as normal, and that’s what we are trying for,” she says. “We want to give our visitors as normal and pleasant an experience as possible, whilst keeping them and our staff safe.”

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