BOSSES at a prestigious Glasgow hotel has joined forces with other establishments across Scotland to call for changes to new coronavirus restrictions which bans them from selling alcohol to guests outside their rooms.

In a letter to Nicola Sturgeon 100 hotels said a ban on serving alcohol to guests in public areas could lead to cancellations.

Under current rules, hotels can only serve alcohol to guests in their rooms through room service.

Prestigious hotels, including the Prestonfield in Edinburgh, One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow, The Fairmont in St Andrews, Fife and the Marcliffe in Aberdeen signed the letter.

It comes following warnings from Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s cabinet secretary for tourism, that there is no guarantee that pubs and restaurants in the central belt will reopen.

Jill Chalmers, the managing director of Glenapp Castle near Ballantrae, South Ayrshire, wrote the letter, which has also been signed by The George hotel and the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh.

The letter states: “Not being able to sell alcohol in public areas to hotel residents in Scotland negatively impacts their stay and future guests are already starting to cancel their bookings.

"This measure in particular is threatening the small thread of revenue - a lifeline for many - which still exists for hotel businesses in Scotland at this difficult time.

“We urge you to reconsider this and allow hotel guests, staying a minimum of one night, to consume alcohol in all settings, not simply room service alone.

“In addition, we believe that we should be able to serve non-residents until 6pm, as a café is allowed to do.

“If there is no change, we have no doubt that we will suffer deeper losses.

“We are talking about trying to survive, not about profitability.

“Without this small change in your policy, there will be thousands more job losses in the coming month."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "We know that protecting lives and jobs is a difficult balance and we do not underestimate the challenge that these new measures present for businesses - particularly those in the hospitality sector.

"That is why we have committed £40 million to our new Covid-19 Restrictions Fund to help affected businesses and protect jobs."

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association, said businesses cannot be ‘kept in the dark’ about potential changes.

Ms McClarkin said: "The Scottish Government should be straight with industry and the public by publishing the parameters on which they would not allow the sector to reopen now.

“This would give an indicator as to the progress we’re making against the virus and would allow a limited degree of forward planning by business.

“The sector is determined to support the collective effort against this virus, but we can’t be kept in the dark until the last minute - it’s not fair to operators or the thousands of staff whose livelihoods are at stake.”

Liz Cameron, Scottish Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said: “Hospitality businesses in the central belt face collapse if these current restrictions are extended beyond the initial two week period.

“We understand that tackling the spread of COVID-19 must be a top priority for government, but return to trading is essential to prevent the economy unravelling."