COVID–19 Business Hub
LATEST UPDATE 26th July 2021
Please find available resources COVID-19 related information and support on this page.
If you can't find what you are looking for or have any queries, please do get in touch and we will do whatever we can to help.
This update from the Scottish Government directs businesses towards the most up to date information on COVID-19.
The Find Business Support website has details of support and guidance for businesses affected by the pandemic.
Changes are being made to self-isolation rules for close contacts of COVID cases to allow essential staff in critical roles to return to work to maintain lifeline services and critical national infrastructure.
It will be possible to apply to exempt those who work in critical roles where staff shortages are in danger of putting essential services, such as health and social care, transport and the provision of food supplies at risk.
Exemption will only be granted in respect of members of staff who voluntarily agree not to self-isolate, and the employers’ duty of care to all their employees must be respected.
Strict conditions will apply - staff must be double-vaccinated and in receipt of their second dose at least two weeks previously. They will also require to have a negative PCR test and to agree to undertake daily lateral flow tests.
Applications can be made via the Scottish Government website.
The Scottish Government are currently running an informal consultation exercise on the development of the National Strategy For Economic Transformation. To share your views on how the country can work together to deliver greater, greener and fairer prosperity please reply to this email or directly email EconomyCovid-19StakeholderUpdatesMailbox@gov.scot by 27 August.
Guidance on COVID-19 Protection Levels has been published. The guidance sets out what you can and cannot do at each level.
Safer workplace guidance is released on a sectoral basis and can be found here.
The NHS Inform coronavirus webpage is the fastest way for people to get the latest health advice and information.
Lateral Flow Kits
Free lateral flow kits are now available to everyone in Scotland for twice-weekly asymptomatic testing, and these will be available for pick up without an appointment from many local walk-in or drive through test sites from 3:30 pm each day, or by ordering online or by phone.
- NHS Inform includes information on the variety of ways to access home kits here: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Get a test if you do not have symptoms | NHS inform
COVID-19 Testing – ‘How To’ Videos in Multiple Languages
We have created step-by-step demonstration videos for lateral flow device and PCR testing, which can be found in the pages below:
- Access the Lateral Flow Device Step-By-Step Guide with Professor Jason Leitch, which can be found in multiple languages here: Coronavirus (COVID-19): How to do a rapid lateral flow device (LFD) test at home | NHS inform
- Access the PCR Step-by-Step Guide with Dr Nicola Steedman, which can be found in multiple languages here: Coronavirus (COVID-19): How to do a PCR test at home | NHS inform
Links to Other Key COVID-19 Testing Information
- NHS Inform Testing Self Help Guide: Self-help guide: Access to testing for coronavirus | NHS inform
- NHS Inform Testing information: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Get a test if you do not have symptoms | NHS inform
- Gov.scot Testing information: Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested in Scotland - gov.scot (www.gov.scot
Map with both asymptomatic testing sites and locations for picking up LFD test kits – Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests - NHS (test-and-trace.nhs.uk)
Scotland Moves to Level 0
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that Scotland will move down to level zero restrictions from Monday 19 July.
The First Minister told the Scottish Parliament the vaccination programme meant restrictions could be eased as planned next week, but with some modifications.
Face masks will remain mandatory in public indoor settings, and the gradual return to office work has been delayed until 9 August.
What are the rules in level 0?
You can meet socially in groups:
- of up to eight people from three households in your home or theirs – and can stay overnight
- of up to 10 people from four households in an indoor public place like a cafe, pub or restaurant
- of up to 15 people from 15 households outdoors
- under-12s do not count towards the total number of people or households meeting outside, but count towards the household numbers indoors.
- You do not need to physically distance from family and friends in a private home
- Social distancing reduced to one metre in public indoor settings
- You can travel anywhere in Scotland without restrictions
- You can travel anywhere in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands – before you travel you must check the travel rules in those countries
- You can provide informal childcare, for example to look after a grandchild
- Up to 200 people can attend weddings and funerals
- Tradespeople can carry out any work in your home such as painting, decorating or repairing
What can open in level 0?
- Cafes, pubs and restaurants – with pubs closing at midnight
- All shops and stores
- All close-contact services including hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons
- All sport and exercise
- Tourist accommodation
- All visitor attractions
- All public buildings such as libraries and community centres
- All entertainment (apart from nightclubs and adult entertainment)
- Stadiums and events – with capacity limits of 2,000 seated or 1,000 standing
- For the next three weeks at least, there will be a requirement for one-metre distancing between different groups of 15” outdoors – despite original plans to scrap the restriction entirely.
- Scotland plans to drop the requirement to self-isolate for a close contact of a Covid-19 case when the country moves beyond level zero.
Ministers intended to remove the requirement as long as the contact has received both vaccines and had a negative PCR test.
Children at higher risk of Covid to be vaccinated
The Scottish government has confirmed children over 12 who are at higher risk of falling ill from Covid will be offered the vaccine.
However the majority of children, who are low risk, will not be offered the jab for now.
It follows the latest recommendations of the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Some healthy children over 12 who live with other vulnerable people can also have the vaccine, as well as those on the cusp of turning 18.
They will be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine because it is the only one approved for use in children aged 12 to 17 in the UK.
Those newly eligible, according to the JCVI recommendations, include vulnerable children aged 12 to 15 with:
- severe neurodisability
- Down's syndrome
- a severely weakened immune system, including some children with cancer
- those with profound and multiple learning difficulties.
Vulnerable 16 and 17-year-olds were already able to get the vaccine.
Those aged 12 to 17 will also be offered a vaccine if they live with somebody with a weak immune system.
Teenagers within three months of their 18th birthday will be offered the jab - the aim is to protect people leaving school before they start work or university.
Scotland to ease COVID measures from Monday 19th July but with 'certain modifications'
Scotland is to move to level zero of Covid restrictions on 19 July, but mandatory use of face coverings is to remain in place for "some time" and other indicative changes have been put on hold.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the planned easing had to be modified due to the spread of the Delta variant. The move to level zero means more people will be allowed to meet indoors and attend weddings and funerals. However, limits on outdoor meetings are to be maintained, and the return of workers to offices is to be delayed. Ms Sturgeon said "sensible precautions" had to be maintained while the vaccine programme continues. She said she still hoped Scotland could move beyond level zero from 9 August - the point at which the government aimed to scrap most legal restrictions.
Ministers also plan remove the blanket requirement for close contacts of those who test positive to self-isolate - as long as they have had two doses of vaccine - at that point. And fully-vaccinated people returning from amber list countries will not need to quarantine as of Monday, as long as they take a test after arrival. However, the first minister told MSPs that mandatory precautions like the mandatory wearing of face coverings and guidance on ventilation and hand hygiene would remain in place "for some time".
The move to level zero means:
- Up to eight adults from four households can meet indoors at home, and up to 10 can meet in a pub or restaurant - with no need to pre-book a two-hour slot.
- Up to 15 people from 15 households can meet outdoors, and up to 200 can attend weddings and funerals.
Plans have, however, been modified in light of high case numbers:
- Hospitality venues will be required to close at midnight.
- Some physical distancing rules are to be maintained outdoors, with different groups of 15 required to stay at least 1m (3ft 3in) apart in public spaces - meaning there may be limits on some outdoor events.
A "gradual" return to office working was due to be part of the move to level zero, but this has now been put back to 9 August.
Self-Isolation Support Grant
Low-income workers in Scotland may be eligible for a £500 Self Isolation Support Grant if they are told by Test and Protect to self-isolate due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Both employees and self-employed individuals are eligible.
You can only apply for this grant through your local council. You can do this any time during the 28 days from the date you start to self-isolate.
After the council checks your information, they'll contact you with the outcome. If you're awarded the grant, you should get a payment within 3 working days.
To apply, you need to give your local council:
- a bank statement
- proof of low income if you do not claim benefits
- proof of employment or self-employment
You'll also need to allow Test and Protection share your information with your local council.
For more information see government website HERE
Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme launched
A Scotland-wide programme to support business and community-led tourism enterprises taking the lead in the sector’s COVID-19 recovery has been launched.
The Scottish Tourism Leadership Programme aims to offer a range of opportunities to develop personal skills and expertise, to gain insight from fellow participants and subject specialists, and to become part of a growing network of people working together to develop innovative tourism opportunities.
Funded by the Scottish Government’s £25million Tourism Taskforce Recovery Plan, Scottish Enterprise (SE), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) are working together to design and deliver the programme which is offering fully funded places for up to 300 participants between now and March 2022.
Introduction to tourism leadership
The first programmes open for application now are Introduction to Tourism Leadership which starts in August, and Communities Leading in Tourism which begins at the end of September. An additional more in-depth Tourism Leadership Course is coming soon.
All courses are available online, with details available at https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/ . Individuals from tourism businesses and organisations based anywhere in Scotland can apply for a place.
Communities Leading in Tourism
Communities Leading in Tourism is an online personal development programme led by HIE and delivered by the Social Enterprise Academy. Up to 30 places are available to individuals from community-led tourism development organisations based anywhere in Scotland.
More information is available at www.hie.co.uk/communitiesleadingintourism .
Latest Coronavirus Statistics
The daily update outlining the key statistics related to Covid-19 cases so far...
In this section
- Scottish Government Update - Friday 14th May
- Scottish Government Daily Update 24th March 2021
- BlueSky Experiences : COVID-19 As A Catalyst for Change Webinar 30 September
- Scottish Government SME Loan for food and drink businesses!
- URGENT update from NHS Tayside about a COVID-19 Outbreak at 2Sisters in Coupar Angus
- Waste sector grants offered for Covid-19 adaptations- Up to £10,000 per site
- Spain Quarantine Rules: An employment Law Insight
- General Guidelines
- UK government: Government launches £200m funding for sustainable COVID-19 Business Recovery, 27 June 2020
- Scottish Government: Lockdown begins to ease in Phase 1, 28 May 2020
- Scottish Government: COVID-19 Budget Revision, 27 May 2020
- Scottish Government: Sector Guidance for Easing Lockdown, 26 May 2020
- Scottish Government: COVID-19 Funding Plea, 23 May 2020
- Scottish Government: Expansion of COVID-19 Testing, 18 May 2020
- Data Protection and Privacy During the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Scottish Government: Second Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill, 11 May 2020
- Scottish Government: SME Support Doubles to £90 million, 8 May 2020
- Redundancy during Coronavirus Part 4: How do I calculate redundancy payments?
- Redundancy during Coronavirus: Part 3: How do I consult with employees who are risk of redundancy?
- Scottish Government: Emergency Loan Fund for SME House Builders, 7 May 2020
- UK Government: Business Rates Revaluation Postponed, 6 May 2020
- Scottish Government: New Powers over CAP, 5 May 2020
- Scottish Government: Preparing for Economic Recovery, 5 May 2020
- Uk Government: Self Employed Invited to Get Ready to Make Their Claims for COVID-19 Support, 4 May 2020
- UK Governement: Funding five new testing facilities in Scotland, including Perth, 29 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Rapid Coronavirus Research. More than 50 Scottish Studies to Tackle Virus and its Impact, 28 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Securing Vital COVID-19 Supplies for Scotland, 24 April 2020
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme Update and New Support for Smaller Businesses
- Aberdein Considine: View the latest response to Coronavarius
- Redundancy During Coronavirus: Part 2: How Do I Select Employees for Redundancy? 23 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Lifeline Support for Business Confirmed, 21 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Universal Credit. People Being Urged To Access All Support, 21 April 2020
- Scottish Government: COVID-19 Impact on Scotland's Economy, 21 April 2020
- Redundancy During Coronavirus: Part 1: How Do I Deal With Collective Consultation?, 21 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Call for Accelerated Business Support, 21 April 2020
- UK Government: Billion £ Support Package for Innovative Firms hit by COVID-19, 20 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Extend Brexit Transition during COVID-19 crisis, 20 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Advisory Group on Economic Recovery, 17 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Thousands of Businesses Benefit from Support Grants, 17 April 2020
- UK Government: Chancellor extends furlough scheme to end of June, 17 April 2020
- What Coronavirus Act means for Commerical Landlords
- UK Government: Universal Credit claimants to verify identity through Government Gateway, 16 April 2020
- UK Government: Councils given greater financial relief against cash flow pressures, 16 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Additional Support for Business, including additional £100m for Self-Employed, 15 April 2020
- UK Government: Magnox donates 66,000 items of PPE to support coronavirus response, 15 April 2020
- UK Government: Furlough scheme cut-off date extended to 19 March, 15 April 2020
- UK Government: Job Retention Scheme, 15 April 2020
- Scottish Government: New Mental Health Support, 14 April 2020
- UK Government Response: Commission on Human Medicines: Advice on Ibuprofen and Coronavirus, 14 April 2020
- Scottish Government: National Helpline to Support Those at High COVID-19 Risk, 13 April 2020
- UK Government: Scottish Secretary Welcomes Additional Money to Help Scotland Tackle Coronavirus, 13 April 2020
- Scottish Government: Transport Community to Help COVID-19 Sufferers, 12 April 2020
- Scottish Government: New Measures to Protect Business Tenants, 10 April 2020.
- Scottish Chamber of Commerce: COVID-19 Update
- Scottish Government: Skills matching service to help rural business. 09.04.20
- Scottish Government: Additional COVID-19 Daily Data Published 08.04.20
- UK Government: Coronavirus (COVID-19): letter to the manufacturing sector 08.04.20
- UK Government: Letter from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, to those working in retail. 08.04.20
- Scottish Business Community calls for clarity, consistency and cooperation in COVID-19 response 3 April 2020
- Help find new ways too ease global disruption: apply for funding. 3 April 2020
- UK Export Finance to offer export insurance in all major markets in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). 3 April 2020
- Chancellor strengthens support on offer for business as first government-backed loans reach firms in need
- Scottish Business Community calls for clarity, consistency and cooperation in COVID-19 response. 3 April 2020
- Scottish Govenment Help with non-domestic rates in Scotland during coronavirus (COVID-19) Last updated: 2 April 2020
- Coronavirus: Rishi Sunak announcement on UK government aid for self-employed
- UK Government Self-employment and Universal Credit
- Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): business and social distancing guidance. Published 25.03.20
- Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for businesses on offering support. Published 24 March 2020
- 20th March Update
- SCC & Scottish Government Update 18th March
- SCC & Scottish Government Update 17th March
- PKC Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidance
- UK Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Link
- Scottish Government Corona Virus (Covid-19) Link
- NEW Find Business Support in response to Coronavirus - from Scottish Enterprise Source
- Coronavirus: £320m rescue package for business from Scottish government - BBC Sourced
- Guidance & Quick Links
- Helpline announed by Fiona Hyslop, Economy Secretary - Sunday 15th March 2020