“Moving beyond level zero to remove the vast majority of Covid restrictions creates a much-needed platform for kickstarting Scotland’s economic recovery.
“Ending social distancing requirements is a vital step that boosts business capacity just when firms need it most. For struggling retailers, getting more customers through the door is just the tonic they need to make the most of the final weeks of summer and trade their way to recovery.
“There will also be a sigh of relief that double-jagged staff will finally no longer have to self-isolate if they test negative once contacted by NHS Test & Protect. Across the economy absences have been hitting businesses hard, as well as exacerbating existing skills shortages that threaten to put the brakes on recovery.
“However, with so many restrictions lifting, businesses will be confused why the Scottish Government is continuing to advise people to work from home. The reality is that many firms are well-advanced in their plans and are proceeding with hybrid working models, just as the government advises. It’s up to employers to engage positively with staff to shape new ways of working that work for them, while remaining as safe as possible.
“The Scottish Government should now work with business to instil a sense of confidence in the reopening. Only by bolstering public and business confidence can we really begin to live with the virus and deliver a strong recovery.”