Admitting yet another lockdown blunder, the Scottish government has apologised for giving out the wrong advice on when funfairs could reopen.

Operators were originally told they would be able to start up from the 15 of July – but days later were told to close again.

A spokesperson for Codona’s Amusement Park said it was “astounded” at the move which could jeopardise 180 jobs.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said it was “unfortunate and regrettable” that conflicting advice had been given out.

Visitor attractions

At the Scottish government’s daily coronavirus briefing, she said that at one point, funfairs may have been considered as visitor attractions but added that the regulations had a clear definition for funfairs.

“We will move to reopen Scotland’s funfairs when it is safe to do so,” she said.

“Unfortunately, there had been conflicting advice issued. The regulations are quite clear about a specific reference to funfairs and they are not able to open at this stage.”

She said the Scottish government would work with the Showmen’s Guild and individual funfairs.

“It’s important that they can reopen when its safe to do so,” she added. “It is unfortunate and regrettable that conflicting advice had previously been issued.”

The Showmen’s Guild had written to Nicola Sturgeon about the issue.

‘Left on the shelf’

Trevor Smith, who works on funfairs, told BBC Scotland: “We feel that we’re being left on the shelf slightly, against other businesses.

“We could go ahead and open in accordance with social distancing regulations which we’ve already looked at.

“We can do exactly what the shops are doing – have hand sanitiser stations and people looking after everything, making sure there is social distancing in place.”

Codona’s Amusement Park said it had put “all necessary policies and procedures in place to allow the business to reopen safely”.

In a Facebook post, Alfred Codona said: “We find the decision to close our outdoor rides astounding, considering outdoor playgrounds are now open with no Covid-19 policies or procedures in place.

“Additionally indoor restaurants, cinemas, shops, shopping centres, indoor and outdoor bars are now open all over Scotland.

“And yet, our outdoor attraction with all the appropriate Covid-19 policies and procedures, inspected and approved, is instructed to close.

The park opened on 15 July but six days later, after seeking clarity on the regulations, the attraction was told it was classed the same as a travelling funfair so had to close its rides.

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