The decision, announced by first minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, to close all pubs and restaurants across central Scotland, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, will have a huge impact on the country’s night time economy, according to Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Scotland.

NTIA Scotland chair and SubClub MD Mike Grieve said the decision, which will also see hospitality venues in the remainder of Scotland shut at 6pm, was not supported by scientific evidence.

He said no statistics had been made available in Scotland to demonstrate why the industry is being singled out: “On the basis of the statistics reported by Public Health England, it is clear that transmission rates in hospitality settings remain at no more than 3% of the total. The reason these figures are so low is precisely because our industry has behaved responsibly and has invested in Covid safety and training.”

“We again call on Scottish Government to address the urgent issues facing our industry and at the very least repurpose existing budgets to help a whole industry which is literally at the point of collapse.”

The news was followed by a report by the BBC that Covid-19 measures are set to be tightened further in parts of England early next week, including the closure of pubs and restaurants in the worst-affected areas, which include Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Reacting to the reports Greater Manchester major Andy Burnham tweeted: “No discussion. No consultation. Millions of lives affected by Whitehall diktat. It is proving impossible to deal with this government.”