On 22 September, the ASSC received assurance from the Scottish Government that the ban on visiting other households did not include self-catering units.
This message was shared widely with the press, the public, and tourism stakeholders.
On 23 September, National Clinical Director, Professor Jason Leitch, appeared on BBC Radio Scotland’s Mornings with Jackie Brambles programme and said, “…you can’t have two households in self-catering so that would be like allowing them in your own home.”
Also on 23 September, following an urgent request for clarification, the Scottish Government told the ASSC first that, contrary to the comments made by Professor Leitch, their advice remained the same and that it was not the intention of the restrictions to include self-catering.
However, a few hours later, the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Fergus Ewing, said that the one household restriction would, in fact, apply to self-catering from Friday 25 September.
In response to this u-turn, the ASSC has issued the following statement:
ASSC Chief Executive, Fiona Campbell, said:
“The inability of the Scottish Government to get its story straight on self-catering over the past 48 hours has sent ripples of fear, anxiety, and stress throughout our sector.
“First to be told that we would rightly be exempt from the limits on households only to hear, via a morning radio programme, that our £723million sector will now be dealt another devastating blow by being hampered with this restriction would be considered farcical, if it was not so disappointing.
“Self-catering in Scotland has led the way throughout the COVID-19 pandemic; from shutting down as early as March to implementing government-backed cleaning protocols, we have stood side-by-side with the Scottish Government and now find ourselves being thoroughly let down by them.
“We urge the Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing, to correct this u-turn, grant self-catering the proper exemption that our professional, dedicated, and hard-working sector deserves, and at least try to salvage some dignity from this confusing, embarrassing, and undignified mess.”