The move to Level 0 lockdown measures across Scotland this month marks another encouraging milestone towards the full re-opening of the country – economy and the ability of businesses, in Clydebank and across the country, to recover.

Many businesses, however, were not expecting the modifications to the plans which will cause uncertainty and negatively impact business confidence.

The postponing of the phased return of office-based working will be a bitter blow for employees and employers alike, many of whom had been getting ready to welcome employees back into offices.

This was also disappointing news for those businesses that are reliant on office worker footfall and custom, who now need to wait another month until those workers start to return.

Scotland’s hospitality sector, one of the hardest hit by restrictions that have now been in place, in one form or another for almost a year and a half, will be concerned that anticipated restrictions were not lifted. In particular there was little reprieve in the government’s latest announcement for the country’s night-time economy, with challenging restrictions on trading remaining in place for the time being.

The role of the Scottish and UK Governments must now evolve to enable businesses and communities to operate with autonomy, according to personal circumstances, business preferences and sectoral requirements.

Chambers of Commerce across Scotland have been calling for the Scottish and UK Governments to adapt self-isolation requirements for workers who have been double vaccinated, recognising that we are in a different position in the pandemic than we were a year ago.

The changes that were announced last week by the Scottish Government are a step in the right direction, but they still leave many businesses and sectors facing the worrying prospect of staff absences as the exemptions which are in place are not far-reaching enough.

Even for those sectors who will qualify for the new critical worker scheme, the criteria by which a business or an employee qualifies, and the process for applying for an exemption to the rules, are both overly complex and require a significant amount of evidence.

We are also urging the Scottish Government to consider a separate scheme to help the food and drink industry continue to operate effectively.

Clydebank’s businesses have been working hard to keep their staff and customers safe, which we think justifies alternative measures for ‘non-critical’ roles to allow for more double vaccinated people to avoid self-isolation with daily Covid testing.

The view of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce is clear - that we should continue on the path that has been set out towards the lifting of all restrictions on August 9 as planned.

To find out more about the Chamber’s work, and to connect with members, contact 0141 280 0272, email or take a look at dunbartonshire