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First Minister's update to the Scottish Parliament - 11 January 2022 - Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

First Minister's update to the Scottish Parliament - 11 January 2022

The Scottish First Minister has provided an update to the Scottish Parliament. Following our discussions with Scottish Government officials we are able to confirm the statement confirms the following:
 
COVID-19 Stats:

10,392 positive cases were reported yesterday as a result of PCR tests that is 27.7% of all tests carried out.

1,479 people are in hospital with Covid. That is 47 more than yesterday.

65 people are in intensive care, 11 of whom have been in intensive care for more than 28 days.

A further 16 deaths have been reported, taking the total number of deaths under the daily definition to 9,950.

Changes to events:

We will begin to lift the protective measures announced before Christmas from Monday but in a phased way that will allow us to form in the days ahead a clearer picture of the trends in infections and associated impacts.

SG expect to confirm further dates next week. However, the First Minister can confirm today that the attendance limit of 500 at large scale outdoor events will be lifted from Monday, 17 January.

That means, for example, that spectators will be permitted again at major outdoor sporting events, including football fixtures scheduled for early next week, and the forthcoming Six Nations rugby matches.

The Covid certification scheme will remain in place for those and other events and venues previously covered, but with two changes.

Changes to vaccine certification:

Firstly, our guidance will now stipulate that the organisers of large events of 1000 or more people should check the certification status of at least 50% of attendees, rather than the current 20%, or at least 1,000 people whichever figure is higher.

And, second, from Monday the requirement to be ‘fully vaccinated’ for the purposes of Covid certification will include having a booster if the second dose was more than four months ago.

The NHS Scotland Covid status app for domestic use will be updated from Thursday so that its QR code includes evidence of booster vaccination.

It will also be possible to order updated paper and PDF copies of vaccination status, which are now valid for three months.

And it will still be possible to gain admission to events and venues covered by the certification scheme by providing proof of a recent negative lateral flow test.

FM hopes this will allow us to lift the other protective measures limits on indoor live events, table service in hospitality and distancing in indoor public pleases from 24 January.

This will be confirmed next week.

Looking ahead:

As we do lift these other protective measures, FM believes it will be necessary to consider again if extending the scope of Covid certification to other venues might be a necessary protection.

To be clear, SG have not yet taken any decisions on this and it will require careful judgment. But FM wants to be clear to Parliament today that it is something SG feel bound to give appropriate consideration to.

Work from home whenever that is possible. And employers, please enable your employees to work from home when practical. (SG officials have indicated to SCC that they do not envisage this to be reviewed until the start of February).

 

In response to the First Minister’s statement, Perthshire Chamber Chief Executive Vicki Unite said:

“It is good news that the current wave seems to have reached – or is near – its peak and it is good news for outdoor events companies that the restrictions will be lifted next week, but once again there is no good news for hospitality and retail, whose disastrous Christmas looks to be extending further into 2022.

“Hotels and restaurants are still reeling from a multitude of cancellations, following the Government’s pre-Christmas announcement, and they are having to endure continued hardship well into January.

“The knock-on effect is felt painfully too by hospitality and retail workers and suppliers, some of whom have been laid-off or have had contracts cancelled.

“Hopefully the promised financial support is forthcoming, but given today’s disappointment this needs to be re-evaluated, and it needs to be done immediately.

“Businesses in these and associated sectors, are now looking at January 24th as the date that will signal the lifting of what many of them feel are unfair, and draconian, remaining restrictions.

“Fingers crossed this will happen and we also hope there will be a clear timeline to enable employees to get back into town and city centre businesses before it’s too late.”

 

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