UK Hospitality has criticised the Scottish government’s use of data to justify new restrictions on hospitality venues, despite it being made “explicitly clear” the figures do not demonstrate the location of infection or transmission.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said one in five infected people had reported visiting a hospitality venue when announcing the new measures.

The curbs shut down vast numbers of pubs, bars and restaurants in Scotland for 16 days, while alcohol sales and trading times will be restricted for others.

Sturgeon admitted the link “doesn’t mean that is absolutely where they got the virus” - but said it did show these settings pose a “particular risk”.

UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls told MCA the data provided by Public Health Scotland was clear that it did not indicate the location of infection or transmission.

She said: “It would be a mistake to assume that a correlation between activities undertaken prior to testing positive demonstrated causation or a higher level of risk.

“The data equally shows that as many people have been socialising with family and friends in the community, going to work or shopping - all this demonstrates is that people who are more active are more likely to be exposed to the virus.

“This is a complex picture and that is why it is really important to provide help and support to those hospitality businesses required to close, through no fault of their own.”

Under the measures, pubs and licensed premises in Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley will have to shut for 16 days from today.

Over the same period, pubs and restaurants in the rest of Scotland have been ordered to close early and must not serve alcohol indoors.

They will be allowed to serve food and non-alcoholic drinks inside from 6am to 6pm, and service alcohol outside, subject to the current rules.

Announcing the move, Sturgeon justified the focus on hospitality by citing track and trace data.

She said: “I know that the vast majority of pubs, bars and restaurants have worked exceptionally hard over the last few months to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. I am grateful to them for that.

“However the evidence paper published today sets out why these settings present a particular risk. The R number seems to have risen above 1 approximately three weeks after the hospitality sector opened up. We know that more than 1/5 of people contacted by test and protect, report having visited a hospitality setting.

“It doesn’t mean that is absolutely where they got the virus but it does show these settings pose a particular risk of transmitting the virus.

“That makes sense from what we know about how the virus is spread.

“Indoor environments, where different households from different age groups can mix, inevitably present a risk of transmission. That risk can be increased, in some hospitality premises, if good ventilation is difficult, and if it is hard to control the movement of people. And the presence of alcohol can of course affect people’s willingness to physically distance.

“For all of these reasons, significantly restricting licensed premises for sixteen days temporarily removes one of the key opportunities the virus has to jump from household to household. It is an essential part of our efforts to get the R number back below 1.”