Scottish pubs will miss out on selling eight million pints this Easter as they remain closed due to coronavirus restrictions, according to a trade association.
The Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA) has also criticised the decision to stop licensed premises selling takeaway drinks over the bank holiday weekend, with venues closed over Easter for the second year in a row.
It suggests the loss of beer sales over this Easter weekend alone will result in the sector missing out on £31 million of trade.
Under the current restrictions, pubs and bars must remain closed until April 26 at the earliest – when the country is expected to move to Level 3 of Covid-19 measures – at which point they will be able to sell alcohol outdoors.
However hospitality venues will have to wait until at least May 17 to be able to sell alcohol to customers indoors, as Scotland moves to Level 2 of restrictions.
Emma McClarkin, SBPA chief executive, said: “A visit to the pub over Easter is one of life’s simple pleasures, but sadly for the second year in a row our pubs remain forced shut.
“Thousands of pub goers in Scotland will be missing out on a trip to their local for a cold beer and pub dinner, as well as valuable time spent in the company of others.
“It’s a major disappointment for pubs and publicans too, who cannot wait to reopen for their communities and for who the Easter trade would be a major boost.
“Instead, they will miss out on selling some eight million pints worth £31 million in trade to the sector in Scotland.
“It is particularly sad as the sun will be out this Easter, yet people will not be able to soak up the rays in their local pub beer garden.
“It is imperative the Scottish Government’s roadmap to reopening does not get delayed. We hope our pubs will be able to start reopening from April 26 and fully open without any restrictions as soon as possible.”