On 10 September the Scottish Government formally reviewed coronavirus restrictions. Scotland is to remain in Phase 3 of the route map out of lockdown.
A recent rise in coronavirus cases means the following measures have been put in place:
- Group gatherings will only be allowed to a maximum of six people from two households in both indoor and outdoor settings, with limited exemptions (becoming law from Monday 14 September)
- face coverings must be worn in hospitality settings, apart from during the service of food and drink, with hospitality staff following the similar rules as retail staff (from Monday 14 September)
- up to 20 people will still be able to attend funerals, weddings and civil partnerships ceremonies, with the limit permitted for wakes and receptions rising to 20 in line with this, as long as they take place in regulated venues like hotels with strict guidance in place (from Monday 14 September)
- route map moves expected from Monday (14 September) are given a new indicative date of Monday 5 October 2020
The following activities have an indicative re-start date of 5 October:
- Indoor sports courts for adults and young people (12+) for contact sports.
- Indoor soft play can re-open - following guidance (e.g. no ball pools, enhanced hygiene).
- Certain outdoor live events (e.g. those involving focussed standing) - with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene, and restricted numbers - following guidance.
- Certain indoor live events (seated and ambulant) - with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and restricted numbers - following guidance.
- Other indoor entertainment venues - following guidance with physical distancing requirements (e.g. theatres, music venues). Not nightclubs.
- Stadia - limited re-opening - following guidance (e.g. physical distancing, restricted numbers) - with option for testing on earlier dates.
You can find the updated route map here.
Local measures remain in place in East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire. People living in these areas should not visit other households.
You can read more here.
Protect Scotland App
The Protect Scotland app has been launched. The app is an extra tool to support contract tracing and the Test and Protect system. It is free to download from Apple and Google stores and we would encourage you to do so.
Individuals' privacy will be protected as the app uses Bluetooth technology to anonymously alert users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and advises them to self-isolate. Users of the app who test positive will still get a call from a contact tracer to confirm their details and who they have been in close contact with.
The app does not store details on an individual or their location but uses encrypted, anonymised codes exchanged between smartphones to determine all close contacts. Close contacts are defined as people who have been within two metres of someone who has tested positive for 15 minutes.
You can find out more here.
You can find the up to date list of countries and territories that are exempt from quarantine following foreign travel here.
Recent changes mean people travelling from Hungary and La Reunion will have to quarantine if they arrive from 04.00 on 12 September.
Meanwhile Sweden will be removed from the quarantine list from 04.00 on 12 September.
Despite cross-party efforts to support sector-specific extensions to the furlough scheme it is looking increasingly likely that the programme will be shut down entirely in October. We are monitoring the situation and will continue to make representations to the government on this issue. If you have any specific questions about how this may affect you, please get in touch.
The government has launched the new Kickstart scheme providing funding to employers to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The first placements are likely to be available from November.
Kickstart funding will cover:
- 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
- the associated employer National Insurance contributions
- employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
You can find further information about the scheme, including how to apply as an employer, here.
Eat Out to Help Out
The final day of Eat Out to Help Out was last Monday – figures from the Treasury suggest that 26,000 meals were served under the scheme in Shetland alone, providing a significant boost to local restaurants and saving people £168,000 over the course of August. We have been glad to see the positive impact for local businesses despite the challenging environment.
Local Advice and Support
Shetland Coronavirus Hub
The Shetland Coronavirus Hub is available to support anyone who is vulnerable as the result of the pandemic. The Hub can arrange a wide range of support, including emergency food parcels, shopping by volunteers, information about local food shops and delivery, and access to foodbanks if required.
Anyone who is in need of support should contact Shetland Coronavirus Hub on 0800 030 8780 or email [email protected]
Shetland Citizen’s Advice Bureau
Local CAB advisers are continuing to provide advice and support to folk across the isles by phone and by email.
If you need advice, call the bureau on 01595 694696 or email [email protected] and an adviser will get back to you as soon as possible.
Shetland Food Bank
The Shetland Food Bank can be contacted by phone on 01595 741263 or email at [email protected]. Volunteers will be able to advise you on accessing support.
Shetland Business Gateway Team
Contact the Shetland Business Gateway team to find out if you are eligible for business support. Phone 01595 707 491 Email: [email protected]
Shetland Women’s Aid
If you are affected by domestic abuse you can contact Shetland Women’s aid for help and advice. Address: 121A St Olaf St, Lerwick, Shetland ZE1 0ES. Email: [email protected]. Phone: 01595 692070
What to do if you have symptoms
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- new and continuous cough
- fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater)
- loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste (anosmia)
If you’ve developed symptoms you need to self-isolate for 10 days from the start of your symptoms and arrange to be tested even if you think your symptoms are mild.
To book a test, Shetlanders need to complete the self-referral form here. If you can’t access the online form ring 01595 532030 between 09.00 and 12.30 and 14:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday.
Residents of non-doctor islands should contact their local clinician.
Full information from NHS Shetland is available here.
If you live with other people they'll need to stay at home for 14 days from the start of your symptoms even if they don’t have symptoms themselves.
If you have symptoms that are causing serious concern call NHS 24 on 111 or dial 999 in an emergency.
If you require more information visit www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus or call the special helpline on 0800 028 2816. If you need a sick note due to coronavirus, you can get this from the NHS Inform website.