A LOCAL hotelier has delivered a scathing assessment of the latest coronavirus restrictions - labelling the decision to shut down all licensed premises in North Ayrshire as a ‘farce’.

Under the new rules, all bars, restaurants and pubs in North Ayrshire have shut until October 25, with hotels only able to cater for guests.

David McCulloch, owner of the Seamill House Hotel, says he had no option but to shut down the business completely.

He said: “I’m very annoyed, it is simply not viable to attempt trading with such restrictions.

“I’m livid as we had put so much effort into complying with all the guidelines - and received much praise from our customers.

“We have been unfairly lumped in with the city centres and heavily populated bars and clubs.

“Initially I thought Nicola Sturgeon was handling things relatively well, however society has been tolerant and compliant for long enough.”

David believes it is time for a return to normal life and for people to learn to live with the virus.

He said: “We must find a safe and sensible way to get on with our lives until such time as we either have a vaccine or sufficient evidence to combat it with other measures.

“I certainly do not want to come across as unsympathetic to the higher risk groups, but the world cannot stop indefinitely.

“It is time for those at greater risk to take precautionary measures and responsibility for themselves, and the world to resume to normal with key guidance on social distancing and sanitiser.

“Enough is enough. Covid-19 has become the school bully and school bullies need confronted.”

Alan Crossan, owner of the Millport Pier Hotel, has also had to close down completely for the duration of the changes.

He said: “Obviously it is difficult as a hotel owner, but we support the government in what they are trying to do.

“It is tough but it is only two weeks. It is important that we try and beat the virus as soon as possible and keep people safe.

“It’s not viable to keep the hotel open just for the rooms, so we will see what help we can get to try and keep the wages going."

The hotel has enjoyed a successful opening few months since rebranding from the Royal George earlier this year and was set to profit from a busy October.

Alan is hopeful that people will come back to the island when they reopen and is looking forward to a strong winter.

He said: “We were fully booked over the October weekend and we had everything in place to keep people safe.

“A lot of people are looking to go on a break in Scotland, so we will drop the prices over the winter to try and bring them here. The island is still a great place to be during that time.

"Thankfully we’re in a strong position financially but I can understand why other business owners are unhappy."