Isles businesses in the hospitality sector are being urged to “stick with strict hygiene measures and contact tracing” or risk further closures.
The message has come from Highlands and Islands MSP Maree Todd, who has reiterated a warning earlier this week from First Minister.
Nicola Sturgeon issued a stark warning to hospitality operators on Tuesday, in which she addressed the small minority of businesses failing to follow current public health guidance.
She cautioned that the Scottish government would be forced to take action by shutting down premises, should Scotland see outbreaks linked to hospitality.
Ms Todd has referenced the rise of the virus globally, and an indication of a second wave in parts of Europe.
“This month, the islands re-opened its doors to tourists, a measure which understandably, has left many islanders feeling very anxious, especially as we hear reports of a possible second wave of the virus in parts of Europe,” she said.
“The hospitality sector bears an important role in ensuring the virus stays suppressed to low-levels in the islands and across Scotland, and this is why strict hygiene measures and contact tracing is absolutely vital.”
The Scottish government advises any hospitality businesses serving customers who remain on the premises while engaging with the business to gather minimal contact details from customers to support test and protect measures.
It says doing so could identify any clusters of cases, which will help contact those who may have been exposed to the virus, and request them to take steps to prevent the potential onward spread, possibly by asking people to self-isolate for 14 days.
Ms Todd added: “This is a challenging time for the hospitality sector as it seeks to recover from the economic disruption caused by Covid-19 – the last thing anyone wants to see is places being forced to shut due to complacency from the minority.”
She added many businesses were doing a fantastic job.
“I’ve visited several businesses in my own local area in recent weeks, who I can see have taken public health advice on board and have implemented preventative measures in the interest of keeping their customers, employees and their communities – many of which are fragile – safe.
“I’m assured that this is common practice in our islands too. Consumer confidence will be key for business recovery and I’m certain the vast majority understand this.
“People across Scotland have worked incredibly hard for the freedoms we are now enjoying today, so, let’s keep at it and continue to keep the virus at bay.”