The news from Nichola Sturgeon on Thursday was one of celebration and a wee bit o’ disappointment. Scots can rejoice that we’ll now be able to meet up in larger groups, visit the dentist, go to worship, get married, and shop for non-essentials all by the end of June. But disappointment is the dish of the day chewed on by many with pubs and restaurants not given a date as to when they can return to trading, albeit outdoors.
Now we can meet with folk from more than one household outdoors and mercifully the signs of ‘play park closed due to COVID-19’ is something that is consigned to the history books. There was also good news for those souls who have been shielding as they have finally been given the green light to go out and exercise for the first time since late March.
Sports courts also can fling their proverbial doors open and with professional sports to resume as well, it makes it a great day for those who have been itching to get back to all the sweating and the swearing that I assume is involved with any and all sporting activity.
The First Minister gave her blessing for workplaces like warehouses, laboratories, and shops to return to plying their appropriate trade, as well as the construction industry to get back on with erecting their this-and-thats. There was however no date given for pubs and restaurants to re-open for alfresco dining and drinking. With many pubs and restaurants gearing up all last week to open and social media peppered with posts of newly plumped up pub gardens and plush outdoor dining areas proclaimed as ‘ready’ for the weekend, the decision to keep them closed was met with huge disappointment by the industry and its thirsty patrons. Obviously, the health of patrons is paramount and that must always be so, but it is understandably disheartening for traders who were hoping for a sniff of a return to work but get nothing but the salty waft of dismay.
This delaying of pubs and restaurants opening is also a little frustrating for our industry too which thrives on punters going here, there, and everywhere, but the health and welfare of our passengers is very important to us, so if the science says ‘ stay shut’ then ‘stay shut’ it must! There was however another taxi-related announcement from Holyrood, with the Scottish Government making face coverings mandatory on all public transport from Monday. As this development includes taxi services it is worth reminding folk that if you try to board a bus, train, subway, ferry, plane or taxi without a face covering you could be refused travel (there are obvious exceptions), so please remember to put it in your pocket to save on any complications.
At Inverness Taxis we have placed customer and driver safety at the forefront of every journey we make, so we welcome any measure that improves passenger safety. We have already implemented measures such as shields between driver and passenger, contactless payment, and regular sanitisation of vehicles, so it’s no wonder that we’ve managed to complete over 100,000 journeys without so much as a sniffle reported by any of our drivers. We continue to maintain and adapt our measures to an ever-evolving situation to make sure every passenger gets to wherever they need to go, safely.