Two of Edinburgh's best-known bar operators have supported the postponement of restriction easing in Scotland, arguing that the delay is "understandable" if it prevents further lockdowns. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced yesterday that lockdown easing would be delayed three weeks to allow more time for people to be vaccinated.

It means much of Scotland’s population – including Glasgow and Edinburgh – remains at Level 2 and will not descend to Level 0 until July 19. In Level 2 there is a curfew of 22:30 with service divided into two-hour pre-booked slots and restricted to indoor group limits of six from up to three households. 

Under current plans, Level 0 - which still limits groups in hospitality venues to 10 people from 4 households - will be in place until August 9, the Scottish government has indicated.

Sian Buchan owner of Uno Mas in Edinburgh told CLASS: "I'm absolutely not surprised, with numbers rising, we knew it was coming - especially after Boris' announcement [for England] - we were never going to move down from Level 2 to Level 0 next week. 

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"It's slightly annoying but understandable - a few more weeks as we currently are is better than having to take a step backwards for sure. i just don't wanna have to close again!"

Iain McPherson owner of Panda & Sons, Nauticus and Hoot the Redeemer in Edinburgh, added: "I want to open up and be back to a form of normality ASAP like the rest of us, but I think its the right approach to postpone the relaxation of the laws.

"This gives us time for the majority of adults to have been double vaccinated. I'll take a three-week delay over a potential three-month closure due to a spike in cases any day. We must remember that we have furlough until September, we may as well be cautious now to give us as much chance to succeed on our own two feet when the support stops. I really can't see the support being extended past that date."