25 March: COVID-19 Update


Latest Advice

You may only leave your home for the following reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, which should only happen once a day (use food delivery services where you can);
  • One form of exercise a day, like a run, walk or cycle, either alone or with members of your household;
  • Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person;
  • Travelling to and from essential work but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

Emergency legislation will give powers of enforcement to back up the measures on social distancing and premises closures.

What to do if you have symptoms

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature.

If you have symptoms that are causing serious concern call NHS 24 on 111.

If you have mild symptoms or require more information visit www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus or call the special helpline on 0800 028 2816. If you require a sick note due to coronavirus, you can get this from the NHS Inform website.

 

Support for Businesses

An application form for the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus Business Support Fund can be accessed here: www.shetland.gov.uk/documents/CORONAVIRUSFund-ApplicationForm-ShetlandIslandsCouncil.docx

Businesses with specific queries can contact Business Gateway Shetland on: businessgateway@shetland.gov.uk or a call a new advice helpline on 0300 303 0660.

 

Childcare

 Key workers can receive childcare to allow them to continue to work. SIC has defined key workers as the following:

Category 1 – Health and Care workers directly supporting COVID response, and associated staff; Health and Care workers supporting life threatening emergency work, as well as critical primary and community care provision; Energy suppliers (small numbers identified as top priority already); staff providing childcare/learning for other category 1 staff.

 Category 2 – All other Health and Care workers, and wider public sector workers providing emergency/critical welfare services (e.g Fire, Police, Prisons, Social Workers, etc), as well as those supporting our Critical National Infrastructure, without whom serious damage to the welfare of the people of Scotland could be caused.

Category 3 – All workers (private, public or third sector) without whom there could be a significant impact on Scotland (but where the response to COVID-19, or the ability to perform essential tasks to keep the country running, would not be severely compromised)

Further information on specific sectors defined as key workers is available from SIC here: https://www.shetland.gov.uk/news-advice/documents/Keyworkers-Shetland25032020.pdf

 Email ELC@shetland.gov.uk to request a critical childcare registration form. Completed forms should be returned by email by 11.00 each Friday for prioritisation the following week.

 

National Updates

 Today the Scottish Government announced the following support for the fishing industry:

  • An initial payment of 50% of two months’ average earnings will be made to owners of all full time Scottish registered fishing vessels of 12 metres length and under
  • Support is being developed for the onshore processing industry and others in the shellfish growing sector affected by the loss of trade and markets.

Marine Scotland will be writing to all vessels and relevant representative associations with more details.

 

The UK Department for Transport announced that legislation will be brought forward on March 30th to give vehicle owners a 6-month exemption from MOT testing, enabling them to continue to travel to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or shop for necessities.

 

Local Updates

Reduced timetables are operating on internal ferry routes. There is a ban on recreational and social travel and a ban on non-essential travel to the islands by non-islanders.

The Registration Office at Lerwick Town Hall is closed to the public. If you need advice call the Registrar on 01595 744562 or email registrar@shetland.gov.uk. Birth registration is suspended until further notice. Death registrations will be by appointment only. Pre-booked civil ceremonies from Saturday 28 March to Tuesday 30 June will be cancelled or postponed. Notice of marriage or civil partnership will be accepted by post. Citizenship ceremonies are postponed until further notice.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 In recent days we have been contacted on the following issues:

 

Support for the self employed

This is an issue we are acutely aware of. All that self-employed people are asking for is for the same treatment and the same assurances as people in employment have already been given and more needs to be done to support their incomes. There are cross party and cross Government efforts to pushing for a solution. Alistair Carmichael MP asked the Prime Minister today for assurances that the self-employed will be not be in a worse of position than if they were in employment.

 

Self-catering accommodation

Beatrice has written to the Scottish Finance Secretary to ask that self-catered accommodation be included in the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus Business Support Fund. This is an inconsistency with support available in England that must be revisited.

 

Registers of Scotland

We are aware that the Registers of Scotland (RoS) has temporarily closed the application record and the significant problems this is causing for property transactions. Beatrice has been in touch with RoS who will be issuing further guidance shortly.


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