While everyone understands that public health is at the core of the decision making around this pandemic, it would seem that consideration of the economy continues to be erratic.

As such, many city centre businesses have creaked in spite of their best efforts and, as we look further down the line, our events sector in Scotland is facing a state of almost constant paralysis with no road map out of this.

With less than five months to go until Glasgow is set to host COP26, it is more important than ever that the industry gets clarity on the date for reopening.

We welcome the fact that the Scottish Government is currently undertaking a review on physical distancing but what is needed right now according to Peter Duthie, chief executive of SEC and Chair of the National Events Industry Advisory Group, is a clear understanding of what the data must say in order for physical distancing to be removed as is currently planned in England.

It was also recently acknowledged at our Glasgow Talks event with chief executive of DF Concerts Geoff Ellis that the events sector understands that changes may be required along the way but at least having a date for reopening will allow businesses to plan.

They need to manage staffing, make investments, and undertake marketing and promotion, as well as securing input from their supply chain, with a knock-on effect for city businesses which will start to see bookings reinvigorated around such dates.

All of these dots need to be joined up much better and we need to look at what is possible with risk mitigation as the vaccine is rolled out rather than blanket risk aversion.

Having restrictions on physical distancing for events basically means – with the odd exception – that they are not viable.

The restrictive measures for businesses are utterly inconsistent with variance in distancing and wearing masks.

At the moment, it is feeling like the events sector is blindfolded and as England opens up its businesses further, you can already see the evidence of market confidence.

The test events process had very positive outcomes and events which are already open for sale have sold out promptly – with a percentage of tickets purchased by the Scottish population. Concerningly, it means that the longer Scotland delays with this intervention, the greater a competitive advantage England will have as we lose business.

It is like some sort of strangulation process and the longer we go without an exit plan, the more businesses will not survive.

Of course, on top of this there is the added issue of international travel as the UK does not function in isolation.

So many of the tours and events operate on either a global or European basis and we are lacking in tourism from guests across the world.

From business conferences to sporting events, and from live gigs in nightclubs to major events at the SEC and its extensive campus, Glasgow has always been a vibrant light with a global reputation for its events sector, and it is incredibly important that we do not lose that now.

The events industry needs a clear roadmap to the freedom it requires to operate at a viable capacity, and until Scotland has that, we find ourselves at an unfair disadvantage.

Initial market insights suggest that whilst hybrid delivery will have its place, virtual will never replace face to face.

It is how we communicate as a human species and events are so often honeypots of joy.

As Ellis says – it is where you go with the friends you have and the friends you have not yet met.

Alison McRae is senior director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce