Pubs which break social distancing rules should be shut down by the Scottish Government, according to a new industry body.
The Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG) represents restaurant and bar businesses which collectively employ almost 6,000 staff.
Its members include Di Maggio’s, G1 Group and Signature Pubs.
SHG wants rogue businesses shut down to “safeguard the wider industry” amid fears an increase of coronavirus cases could lead to new restrictions on pubs and restaurants.
Hotelier Stephen Montgomery, spokesman for SHG, said the Scottish Government “must not take a blanket approach”.
He said: “We have been forced to act because our industry is facing an existential crisis.
“The vast majority of bars and restaurants in Scotland have been adhering religiously to every regulation that has been introduced because we realise the very future of our industry is at stake.
“All members of the SHG are united in calling on the Scottish Government to immediately shut down the operators of bars and restaurants who don’t adhere to the very highest standards of social distancing, PPE and other essential hygiene measures.
“Targeting the few bars and restaurants which are breaking the rules is the proper and proportionate way to proceed, particularly in light of the revised Scottish Government guidance limiting gatherings to six people from two households.”
He added that a blanket closure of pubs and restaurants would “massively” increase the risk of house parties and “irresponsible gatherings”.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We know there may be an increased risk of transmission in restaurants and pubs, which is why we have made it mandatory for hospitality premises to collect contact details for all customers, visitors and staff, and share with Test and Protect when asked, in the event of an outbreak or cluster of cases being tracked back to the premises.
“We know the vast majority of businesses across Scotland are complying with this, however the small number who fail to follow our guidance are putting the continued opening of hospitality at risk.
“People should report concerns relating to their local environmental health service which will give advice and can investigate when appropriate.
“We would also urge members of the public to avoid premises which are failing to follow the relevant guidance to provide a safe environment for patrons.”