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Coronavirus Business Support

Latest Scottish Government Guidance

Scotland's revised strategic framework

The Scottish Government have unveiled a “revised strategic framework” in the form of four phases, which details how restrictions will be gradually lifted in the country. The different phases, with indicative dates, are: 

First phase - between now and early March 
  • The first easing started on 22 February with the phased return of schools, Ms Sturgeon said. 
  •  Universities and colleges are also able to bring back a small number of students for critical face-to-face teaching. 
  • Restrictions on care home visiting will also be eased from early March. 
Second phase - indicatively 15 March 
  • The next phase of the school return could happen from 15 March, starting with primary years four to seven and more senior phase secondary pupils at least part-time. 
  • Outdoors non-contact group sports for 12 to 17-year-olds could restart then. 
  • The limit on outdoor mixing between households could also be increased to four people from a maximum of two households. 
Third phase - indicatively 5 April 
  • The “stay at home” restriction could be lifted from 5 April. 
  • It is hoped that the final phase of the school return could also happen then. 
  • Communal worship could restart on this date, but with restricted numbers. 
  • Restrictions on outdoor gatherings may also be eased so six people from two households could meet up. 
  • Retailers could start to reopen from this date, beginning with an extension of “essential retail” services and the removal of click-and-collect restrictions. 
Last phase - indicatively 26 April 
  • If the data allows, Scotland will move back into the levels system with the hope that the whole country will move into Level 3. 
  • The First Minister has suggested that there might be parts of the country - perhaps more rural communities - that are able to go straight to level 2. 
  • A “phased but significant” reopening of the economy could happen on this date, with non-essential retail opening back up. 
  • Hospitality - bars, restaurants and pubs - may also reopen then, as well as services like gyms and hairdressers. 


Guidance on Stay at Home Regulations

Guidance on new stay at home regulations came into effect on 5 January 2021. Further details of the latest restrictions can be viewed by clicking here.

  • Key Changes include:
    changing the 6/2 rule to a 2/2 rule. A maximum of two people from up to two households will be able to meet outdoors. Children aged 11 and under will not be counted in that limit
  • for everyone else – including 12 to 17 year olds – outdoor exercise or recreation should only take place in a way which is consistent with the 2/2 rule
  • under 12s will not count towards the 2/2 rule and will continue to be able to participate in organised activities outdoors
  • all schools to continue to use remote learning until the end of January, except in the case of vulnerable children and those of key workers
  • stronger guidance on working from home is reflected in new guidance for people who are shielding. Those who are shielding and who cannot work from home are now advised not to work.
For more info on Business Funding here

On 21st May 2020 the Scottish Government published its’ ‘Route Map Through and Out of the Crisis’.

To support a safe re-start, the Scottish Government has also begun to issue guidance for specific sectors:

Guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector, published 18th June. This includes information on assessing risk, workforce planning and training, as well as an operational checklist. This offers a usable guide for businesses to follow to ensure that they have made sufficient provisions for the health and safety of their staff and customers.

Guidance for the construction sector. More information on the ‘Construction Restart Plan’ can also be found here. This details what works can restart and how, now that we are moving into Phase 2 of the Scottish Governments Routemap.

Guidance for the retail sector has also been published. This guidance includes details on procedures for staff and customer safety and an operations checklist for businesses re-opening. This has come into effect immediately, and extends until further notice with regular reviews in line with lockdown plans.

Guidance for the manufacturing sector is now available. This sets out Scottish Government expectations on what manufacturers of all sizes and sub-sectors need to consider when they restart and, in the case of the manufacture of essential goods where companies have remained open, it establishes a framework for ongoing action to ensure those workplaces continue to change and operate safely.

New guidance for passengers and operators in Scotland was announced on 26 May by Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, as part of the Transport Transition Plan. Face coverings will also be mandatory on public transport from Monday 22 June, as part of operators’ preparations for progress towards recovery and to reduce the risk of transmission. It will apply to all passengers and staff in public areas, although there will be exemptions especially for those who are not able to wear a face covering for specific medical reasons. Children under five will also be exempt.

Through our links with Scottish Chambers of Commerce, we are playing an active role in informing and shaping the Sector Guidance. If you’d like to feed into this process, please contact info@melcc.org.uk This is also the place to send any views you have on Scotland’s exit planning, and to share what support your business or sector needs to ensure you can safely and securely restart operations as soon as government guidelines allow. 

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