IN tier 3, pubs will be allowed to open but not to serve alcohol. "Following the science" my backside. Beer is a vector for Covid-19 but lemonade isn't? The Scottish National Prohibitionists continue their crusade, albeit more blatantly than before.

First we had restrictions on hours of sale. That just created inconvenience. Not long after the introduction of that measure, I was witness to the ludicrous situation of an elderly gentleman, obviously Christmas shopping, being denied the purchase of a gift box because it contained liqueur chocolates and it was before 10 am.

Then there was the reduction in the legal alcohol limit for driving. I would suggest that the major effect of that move has not been an improvement in road safety, but another nail in the coffin of the hospitality sector. You can no longer drive to a country pub and have a solitary pint with your bar meal without placing yourself in danger of being slightly over the limit.

Then, of course, there was minimum unit pricing. Ironically, this did not affect the price of, for example, the much-demonised Buckfast and saw a concomitant rise in drug-related deaths. I believe we are still unenviably high in that league table.

Most hospitality businesses have done all that has been asked of them, often at considerable expense, to make their premises a safe environment for customers. Allowing pubs to open without selling alcohol is like allowing swimming pools to open but not letting anyone in the water. I don't imagine the footfall in a "pub with no beer" will make reopening viable for many.

Brian Johnston, Torrance.

ROSEMARY Goring's alarming article about the NHS triage tool ("Elderly were sacrificed in the first coronavirus outbreak. That must not happen again", The Herald, October 28) reveals just one insidious example of the pernicious effects caused by the insidious cult of "management". The NHS has been seriously afflicted by this ever since the Thatcher Government allowed Sir Keith Joseph to indulge his fantasies about running the NHS like a business.

Institutions such as schools, universities, public services, local government and many others are operated to an increasing extent as organisations whose only function is to support the "management". In many cases, this allows those in command to operate without any technical knowledge of the functions being controlled and to be isolated from any principles and ethical traditions of their institutions. It also enables any suggestions of irrelevance or incompetence to be suppressed.

The history of commercially managed businesses is always used to demonstrate success, but it also reveals a great deal of disaster, incompetence and corruption.

DR PM Dryburgh, Edinburgh EH10.

OF course moving Covid-19 cases into care homes had no impact on deaths in care homes. How dare we mere sentient mortals even suggest it?

Now can we please talk about the wrong size of ferries with painted windows, loans to Ferguson and Bifab, hate crime bills that apparently are intended to stop free speech in your own house, Derek Mackay, Margaret Ferrier, how alcohol gives you Covid, and football legislation that had to be repealed? Or is it to be one cover-up at a time? Is there anything else you would like to be taken into consideration? The internet suggests there might be.

John Dunlop, Ayr.

I NOTE today's article by Iain Macwhirter ("This coronavirus second wave is making fools of us all", The Herald, September 28). He details, very effectively, all of the many issues related to trying to stop the second wave of infection having a major impact. It seems as if everything that any government in the world is trying to do is wrong for one reason or another.

So what is the solution? I have it, you ran out of space for the column just as he was about to reveal the panacea for coping with wave number two. I trust that Mr Macwhirter will be able to complete his column, and offer the world his solution, in next week's Herald.

John Palfreyman, Coupar Angus.

IN a Holyrood debate on Tuesday (October 27) Nicola Sturgeon claimed that Scotland “probably did virtually eliminate the virus” over the summer. This is as accurate as saying “Scotland probably did virtually lock down after the Edinburgh Nike outbreak in February”. Because we didn't actually eliminate the virus. And we didn't actually lock down after the Nike outbreak. Which is a pity. Because if we had, many lives might have been saved.

Alex Gallagher, Labour councillor, North Ayrshire Council, Largs.

I LIKE to keep things simple. That's why I'm struggling with the Government's five-tier coronavirus lockdown system structure. I assumed it would be marked 1-5. But no, it's 0-4.

I'm not a mathematician, a politician, or a civil servant advising politicians, but when told of a five-tier system, I instinctively looked for numbers one to five, and was left confused.

It's obvious I went to a different school, but I'm also now wondering whether I speak a different language.

Any help on this would be gratefully appreciated.

However, maybe the problem is I'm just simple.

Andy Stenton, Glasgow G1.

Read more: Letters: Stop cowering in fear from Covid