DOUGLAS Ross has called for businesses facing closure to suppress the spread of Covid-19 in Scotland to be given a week’s notice to prepare for the restrictions.

The Scottish Tory leader has called on Nicola Sturgeon to urgently draw up a winter economic plan – as well as give a minimum of one week’s notice to traders between emergency lockdown measures being announced and rolled out as an “adaptation period”.

Mr Ross also wants a new coronavirus businesses restrictions advisory council to be established to help inform decisions on measures being introduced and eased.

READ MORE: Coronavirus Scotland: 'No guarantee' pubs and restaurants will re-open after 16-day restrictions

The Tory MP also wants businesses to receive financial support as soon as they need it – with an automatic, standard Scottish business restrictions grant being made available.

Mr Ross help a virtual meeting with Scotland's business leaders and traders to lay out his blueprint for better supporting industries including hospitality, tourism, transport, energy and engineering sectors.

He said that the decisions taken by the Scottish Government will need to “carefully balance safeguarding lives with avoiding doing disproportionate harm to livelihoods”.

But he warned that “we are going to have to go through more cycles of easing and tightening restrictions before we get through this”.

Turning to the impact on the economy, Mr Ross said he understood why many traders were feeling frustrated.

He added: “For many people, hearing the briefing of a “circuit breaker” or “second lockdown” over the past weeks will have undermined their confidence.

“They will conclude that it is not safe to travel, they should stay at home and only go out for the essentials. And you have no idea what comes next, as Jason Leitch, the National Clinical Director, has said ‘when we come out of this we can get back to the next version. But we have no indication of what the ’next version’ is.”

Mr Ross told businesses that “the Scottish Government has not supported you as it should have”.

He added: “Even now guidance is still being published and updated for some businesses on last week’s restrictions.

“They still have not been able to give a definition of the difference between a café and a restaurant. And we have no information on what the funding support package that you are going to rely on looks like.

“These are the essential details that can make the difference to whether a business decides to keep trading or close its doors for good – or whether a member of staff is going to lose their job or not. “You deserve better support from the Scottish Government.”

Mr Ross said that £40 million of funding made available to the hospitality sector forced to closure under the 16-day restrictions is “not nearly enough”.

READ MORE: Coronavirus Scotland: Warning summer success won't be repeated

He added: “In the past week we have seen businesses given just two days to prepare, for in some cases, total shut down. That is unfair and made worse by rushed and inadequate guidance.

“That is why we believe that there should be a one week minimum ‘Adaptation Period’ between the announcement and the introduction of measures.

“While we understand the need to take swift action to limit the spread of the virus, we also need to give businesses time to prepare for restrictions.”