A SCOTS restaurant has been rocked by nearly 1,700 cancelled bookings ahead of Christmas.
Dine in Edinburgh had 1,681 customers call off their reservations after the Scottish Government advised against Christmas parties and social get-togethers.
The plush brasserie, which has two eateries in the capital, is pleading for more financial help for hospitality businesses.
Last week stricter measures were introduced for Scots shops, pubs and restaurants, including physical distancing, measures to control the flow of customers and protective screens.
Nicola Sturgeon warned the restrictions were a "return to the kind of protections in place at the start of the pandemic", as Covid cases continue to rise across the country.
Dine took to social media to make an appeal to the government for more support.
The restaurant chain also warned of hospitality firms having to consider redundancies amid widespread cancellations and loss of trade.
On Twitter, Dine wrote: “The hospitality sector needs your help and immediate support, most small businesses depend upon a busy December just to survive the quieter Jan – March months!
"One minute the sector is scrambling for staff, now, companies are talking redundancies."
Speaking to STV, Dine assistant manager, Leah Renton, told how the cancellations have cost the restaurant group a lofty £75,000.
She said: “Since the news about the new Omicron variant came to light we’ve experienced nearly 1,700 cancellations just at one restaurant. That translates to around £75,000.
“It has a huge knock-on effect to our business and our staff, it’s completely damaging. Every hospitality venue relies on this festive period, as people tend to not go out in January."
The First Minister tonight ruled out Covid legal curbs for families on Christmas Day, but hinted at more restrictions after Boxing Day.
Ms Sturgeon said she was sticking to her guidance of no limit on “main” celebrations, but she’d set out any “wider steps” needed at Holyrood tomorrow.
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She said her "clear message" is for people to follow the advice she gave last week to limit meet-ups before and after Christmas to a maximum of three households, and to "stay at home  as much as is feasible right now".
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