Following an increase in cases in COVID-19 cases across Scotland, the following changes were announced by the First Minister in the Scottish Parliament yesterday. These measures will be reviewed after three weeks.
Inside people’s homes (from 23 September 2020)
- Do not meet people from any other households in your home or another person’s home socially, unless they are in your extended household
- These rules also apply to children
- Children whose parents do not live in the same household can move between homes, as can non-cohabiting couples
- Very limited exemptions apply for childcare, and for tradespeople
Private gardens or public outdoors spaces (from 23 September 2020)
- A maximum of six people from two households can meet in outdoor spaces
- You should limit as far as possible the total number of households you meet in a day
- Under-12s do not count towards the maximum number of households or number of people who can meet outdoors. Under-12s do not have to physically distance
- A maximum of six 12 to 17 year olds can meet in outdoor spaces, with no household limit. Physical distancing is still required
Indoors in public spaces (from 23 September 2020)
- A maximum of six people from two households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants
- Children under 12 from those two households do not count towards the limits
Hospitality (from 25 September 2020)
- Pubs, restaurants and all hospitality settings will be required to close at 10pm each evening
- Table service will continue to be required in all hospitality premises
- You should only car share with members of your own, or extended, household, and follow guidance when there is no alternative
- You must continue to work from home where practicable
The government will also introduce measures to help people self-isolate if they are asked to do. This will include financial support of £500 for those on low incomes. More details are to be announced.
You can read the First Minister’s full speech here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-update-first-ministers-speech-22-september-2020/
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has today announced a range of new measures to support businesses. Full details are yet to be announced but the measures include:
- Extending self-employed income support for a further six months from November
- Replacing the furlough scheme with a wage subsidy scheme:
- Businesses will have the option of keeping employees in a job on shorter hours, rather than making them redundant.
- Workers must work a third of their usual hours, paid by their employer as normal.
- For the time they are not working, the government will pay a third of their usual pay, and the employer will pay a third of their usual pay.
- Including the pay for the hours they are working, the Treasury says this means workers will get 77% of their usual pay.
- The scheme will run for six months starting in November.
- Firms can claim both the jobs support scheme and the jobs retention bonus.
- Additional support for government-backed business loans
- Extending the VAT cut for hospitality until 31 March
While I have concerns about those who continue to be left out of support, and limitations in the schemes announced, I welcome further measures for businesses and will do what I can to assist you if you need help accessing support.
The way you are invited for a flu vaccine may change this year. This is due to national changes in vaccination services that started before the coronavirus pandemic.
You may receive a letter informing you that it is recommended you get the vaccine this year. The letter contains instructions about what to do next.
You can find out if you are eligible for a flu vaccine by visiting NHS Inform: https://www.nhsinform.scot/flu or by ringing 0800 22 44 88
If you expect to get the vaccine but don’t receive any information by mid-October then you should contact your GP.