Shoppers and traders across Tayside and Fife were left disappointed on Tuesday after the First Minister unveiled the nation’s road map about of lockdown.
The plan, which suggests non-essential retailers might begin to re-open at the end of April, has been seen by some as too cautious.
All of Scotland could move to level three on April 26, following a phased reopening of schools, with all pupils back in classrooms and stay at home orders lifted by April 5.
Evelyn Hardie who runs Sandford Country Cottages, a self-catering holiday accommodation business near Wormit, was among those criticising the page of change and scarcity of detail.
It comes a day after Boris Johnson set out a more structured road map towards easing all restrictions in England by June 21.
She said: “I’m very disappointed and very frustrated with the announcement today as it doesn’t help us in any way plan for the next few months.
“If we had some dates to work towards it would have been a big help.”
Sandford had customers booked for April and Ms Hardie had hoped to be able to welcome some guests towards the end of that month.
She added: “I don’t feel the Scottish government have any idea how small businesses in Scotland operate. We have had very little support overall, and were deliberately excluded, as a self-catering business, from the top up grants that were announced in December.
“Our business is our only source of income and it really makes you wonder why you carry on.”
Huw Davis, who runs Strength Lab CrossFit in Kirkcaldy, said: “It’s frustrating that it is to go on for longer.”
Mr Davis highlighted the latest data from industry association UK Active, indicating that there were just 1.7 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 gym visits.
He said: “I understand there needs to be roadmap out of it but we’re told that vaccinations are the way out of it and that’s happening yet we’re still being held back.”
He said if Scotland had followed the UK Government’s lead and allowed outdoor exercise to resume at the end of March, that would have allowed the gym to plan more activities for members.
Dundee businesses were also lukewarm about the plan, but some said they understood the need for a cautious approach.
Mhairi McDermott, who owns women’s clothing store Lulu & M in Broughty Ferry, said: “I think it’s disappointing that we’re not going to open earlier but we’ve got no choice really.
“We’re just trying to stay positive about it.”
Matthew Marra, of Assai Records on Union Street, said: “Obviously, we are feeling much the same as everyone else.
“It’s not ideal but we do understand that we have to come out of lockdown in a cautious way.”
Vicki Unite, chie executive of the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The health of the nation is paramount and we support the efforts of everyone working towards getting the virus under control.”
However, she added: “Many of our members are frustrated that they can’t restart their business from an earlier date and they will feel that contingency measures, a great deal of which are ready to be put in place and created with safety in mind, don’t seem to have been taken into account.
“It is particularly hard on hospitality, retail and the personal service sector and we hope that these and other areas which are really struggling will receive enhanced financial support.”
Dundee student Martin Paule, 20, labelled the plan “somewhere between too cautious and just okay”.
He added: “It could be sooner, for example stuff where you need to just grab something and leave could open up before places where you sit in and eat.”
Steuart Merchant, a 74-year-old from Linlathen, agreed.
He said: “I wish the hairdresser would maybe open, and the pubs too.
“I actually thought the pubs were quite safe, safer than the supermarket.
“I do understand the cautiousness though – I think it’s okay.
“Boris has maybe been a bit too ambitious down south.”