News that Ayrshire is set to enter level 4 Covid restrictions, along with the rest of mainland Scotland, from Boxing Day will be a “bitter blow” for businesses in the area, according to South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.

The local MSP has said he will be pushing the Scottish Government to ensure as much as possible is done to support businesses, including those in the hospitality and many in the retail sector who will be forced to close from 26 December, for the duration of the level 4 lockdown.

Colin Smyth said: “The news that Ayrshire is set to enter into level 4 restrictions alongside the rest of mainland Scotland from 26 December will be a bitter blow for our already struggling hospitality and retail businesses. People in Ayrshire worked hard to ensure the level of restrictions was brought down to level 3, so this reversal by the Government will be frustrating.

“Hospitality has been hit hard by Covid-19 and unfortunately, along with much of retail, now faces another shutdown, just a matter of weeks since those in South and East Ayrshire were allowed to reopen following the last level 4 lockdown.

“I will be pushing the Scottish Government to ensure more support is offered to businesses.

“2020 has been a terrible year and I know that many people have been shocked and very upset by the news that their festive celebrations have been cut back. Since the announcement was made, my inbox has been full of very valid concerns from my constituents.

“The new strain of Covid-19 is concerning and while people fundamentally understand why a new lockdown is required, it hasn’t been handled well by both of our governments who have left this announcement to the last minute, causing the maximum disruption.”

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