Popular Rutherglen restaurant the Peking Palace has closed down amid unfounded links to the coronavirus epidemic which has swept across China.
The restaurant – which has been a fixture in the town for more than three decades – ceased serving on Saturday, and was packed with loyal customers bidding it an emotional farewell.
Staff at the East Kilbride Road premises told customers in the days leading up to its closure that the coronavirus outbreak had coincided with a downturn in trade since the turn of the year.
The Peking Palace’s owner declined to comment on the reasons for the closure, or on how many jobs will be lost.
However, a source told the Reformer: “Lots of businesses have been affected by the coronavirus and it has definitely had an impact on people coming to the Peking Palace this year.
“It may not be the only reason for the closure – the owner was considering semi-retirement – but it has certainly accelerated the decision.”
Plans to continue a temporary takeaway service until the end of the month are in place, but the restaurant – which passed its food hygiene standards test just weeks ago – has stopped serving.
There has been a worldwide slump for Chinese restaurants since the coronavirus outbreak began last month.
Restaurants across the UK have reported declines in trade over the last few weeks.
Similar fears have driven customers away from Chinese districts and their businesses across the world, despite health organisations attempting to refute any fears.
Dr Femi Oshin, NHS Lanarkshire Consultant in Public Health Medicine, said: “It is important to stress that there are no confirmed novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Scotland.
“Neither do we have any concerns with novel coronavirus relating to this premises.
“There is no excuse for discriminating against anyone from any race or ethnic background because of novel coronavirus.”