A BODY representing night time economy businesses – which is suing the Scottish Government – has said the sector has been “left in limbo” over reopening due to a lack of clarity on dates from the Scottish Government.

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Scotland has called for more certainty for the sector.

NTIA Scotland has previously launched legal action against the Scottish Government, which it says is proceeding “at pace”, over the emergency coronavirus legislation put in place last year.

NTIA Scotland chairman and Glasgow Sub Club boss Mike Grieve, said: “As our neighbours south of the border prepare to unlock and remove all restrictions within the coming weeks, in Scotland we remain stuck in perpetual limbo with still no indicative date for reopening or even an outline of the conditions which will allow nightlife to restart.

“We again ask the Scottish Government to work with us directly and urgently on establishing a constructive path towards the unrestricted reopening of the culturally important and economically valuable night time economy sector and to save the thousands of jobs currently at risk.

“Meantime, our legal action continues to gather support as we await a full response from Scottish Government legal representatives.”

The body also urged First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to hold a “crisis summit” with the sector to find solutions before 39,000 jobs are lost – according to NTIA research.

Vice chairman Gavin Stevenson said: “For thousands of hard-pressed, night-time economy businesses being bankrupted by the commercially unviable levels system, May 17 is a reopening in name only.

“While people in England can now hug and kiss friends and family, and huge music festivals are being sold out this summer, people in Scotland are forced to revert to two-metre social distancing even to listen to an acoustic musician at Level 0 in the restrictions system.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has urged the Scottish Government to reconsider the placement of pool and snooker halls in the levels system.

Currently, the venues are considered to be the same as nightclubs, a placement which has caused anger from owners of the halls.

Mr Sarwar said: “Snooker and pool halls can guarantee ventilation, cleaning and social distancing.

“It’s time the government gave Scotland’s hard-pressed snooker and pool halls a decent break, to coin a phrase. How can a casino be open and a snooker hall can’t. It’s making a mockery of the rules.”

He added: “It is very important that the rules on Covid are observed. But these sort of inconsistencies undermine them in the eyes of the public.

“I intend to speak to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the earliest possible opportunity”.

Brian Links, the owner of Glasgow-based snooker club, Reardon’s, has rallied more than 30 such venues to call on the leaders of Scotland’s five main political parties and all new elected representatives to change the regulations.

“You could say we’ve been hit with a double whammy,” Mr Links said.

“We are treated in the rules like nightclubs but don’t get the same level of financial compensation.

“This has now gone on for too long. It’s so frustrating.

“We have guaranteed all the changes the government wants for safety. The government has got us in a Covid snooker.”