Scotland’s Strategic Framework | Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

Scotland’s Strategic Framework

Attendance limits at outdoor events to be lifted

Updated 11 January 2022

The First Minister confirmed that from next week (17 Jan) government will begin to lift the measures introduced before Christmas. 

From Monday 17 January:

  • The attendance limit of 500 at large-scale outdoor events will be lifted
    • The Covid certification scheme will remain in place for those and other events and venues previously covered, but with two changes.
      • Organisers of large events of 1000 or more 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.
      • 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 Cabinet will next review the data at the next meeting a week today (18 January) and hopes this will allow to lift the other protective measures - limits on indoor live events, table service in hospitality and distancing in indoor public places - from 24 January.

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Easing of restrictions on international travellers

Updated 6 January 2022

From Friday (7 Jan) people travelling to Scotland from abroad who are fully vaccinated or under the age of 18 will no longer need to take pre-departure Covid tests, and will also no longer be required to self-isolate on arrival until they've received a negative result.

Travellers in this group will still need to take a test on or before day 2 after arriving in the UK - which can be a lateral flow device rather than a PCR test from Sunday.

Anyone who tests positive on their lateral flow test will need to isolate and take a free confirmatory PCR test.

The new measures apply across the UK after agreement between the UK Government and the three devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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Self-Isolation and testing changes

Updated 5 January 2022

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament (5 Jan), First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that anyone who tests positive for Covid-19, regardless of vaccination status, must still self-isolate for 10 days. However, from tomorrow, 6 January, new cases will be advised they can end self-isolation if they don’t have a fever and test negative on a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) on Day 6 and again at least 24 hours later.

Triple vaccinated close contacts of those who test positive, both household and non-household, or those under the age of 18 and four months, do not need to isolate as long as they return a negative LFD test result each day for seven consecutive days, and remain fever free.

The intention is for the public to be sufficiently reassured of a negative Covid-19 status during the potential incubation period.

Any close contact who is not fully vaccinated (three doses) will still have to self-isolate for the 10 days and take a PCR test.

Changes are also being made to testing after a positive LFD – people will no longer be asked to take a PCR test to confirm the result. 

Instead, anyone with a positive LFD should report the result online as soon as the test is done.  This ensures that people can get the advice they need as quickly as possible. After reporting their result, people should then fill in the online form they will receive, so that contacts can also be informed and rapidly given the correct advice.

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The Scottish Government has published updated sector guidance for businesses to reflect the changes coming into force from the 26 December 2021.

The Scottish Government has also published more guidance on supporting safer capacity in public settings and events. The guidance highlights which premises are included in the new restrictions from 27 December. 

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UPDATED SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE - Coronavirus (COVID-19) safer businesses and workplaces

Updated 16 December 2021 

Following the First Minister’s announcement on Tuesday, the Scottish Government has published updated guidance which will be reviewed on a 3 weekly basis. 

The guidance includes mandatory protection measures and sector specific recommendations.  Extract below: 

Hospitality (including nightclubs and adult entertainment)

  • mandatory local licensing laws apply;
  • mandatory collection of contact details remains in place;
  • mandatory reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission;
  • strongly encourage the use of table service where possible, alternatively a takeaway service may be provided, though bar service is now permitted in law;
  • from 1 October 2021, the Covid Certification Scheme introduced the legal requirement for vaccine certificates/ negative test result to be provided in order to access certain settings in Scotland.
  • Refer to the hospitality and tourism sector specific guidance, including an operations checklist for further information. 

Retail

Retailers should follow and implement the Scottish Government’s regulations and guidance to ensure the safety of customers and staff. Enhanced mitigations should be put in place, such as:

  • Control the flows of customers entering/exiting and in- store to minimise risk of transmission - wherever possible put in place separate entrance and exits to help control the flow of customers;
  • Promote, provide and maintain hygiene stations and enhanced cleaning measures through out stores;
  • use tannoy systems, signs, floor markings and queue management systems to help people keep a safe distance from others particularly at potential pinch-points of congregation like tills;
  • promoting the use of face coverings;
  • using screens to create a physical barrier between people, for example at till points and self-service checkouts;
  • maximising fresh air coming into the premises.
  • A checklist of measures is provided to support retailers consider appropriate measures for their setting. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for call centres and customer contact centre environments 

This guidance also sets out Scottish Government expectations for organisations across five key areas. Organisations need to consider these to ensure premises are safe and the transmission of COVID-19 is minimised:

  • risk assessment - involving the workforce in a risk based approach 
  • planning and support - supporting those who should come to work, and those who should not
  • operational guide and checklist - changing the environment to protect staff
  • deliveries, distribution and visitors -  protecting staff and those who come on-site
  • compliance

Working from home

Supporting people to work from home where possible is an important part of complying with the requirements of the coronavirus legislation. Working from home may require more flexible arrangements to take account of any circumstances within the home that may impact on the worker.  Flexible working relates to an organisation’s working arrangements in terms of the time, location and pattern of working.

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New measures required to slow the spread of Coronavirus

Updated guidance 14 December 2021 

Additional measures to manage the increased risks of transmission associated with Omicron.

As Omicron continues to spread, the Scottish Government is setting out new guidance and measures to take effect from midnight on Friday to stem the flow of transmission, keep businesses and services open, and protect against pressure on health services.

Evidence shows that the new, highly transmissible Omicron strain of COVID-19 can infect those who have been vaccinated, or previously infected. Therefore it is considered necessary to reintroduce some protections to prevent hospital admissions.

Guidance has been updated on reducing social interaction at home or in indoor public places to a maximum of three households at any time, with everyone encouraged to take a lateral flow test before meeting. This will also be reflected in updated guidance for visiting care homes – with no more than two households to visit a resident at a time – and in hospitals, with no more than two visitors at any time. In all settings, people should take a lateral flow test before meeting, to support people to continue to connect with their loved ones.

Additional funding of £100 million to ensure the Self-Isolation Support Grant is available to those who need it, and a £100 million financial package for eligible businesses is to be made available. 

Business support funding has been allocated to enhance adherence to the necessary public health measures and support businesses in hospitality ,and food supply and in the culture sector that have lost crucial bookings during this key trading period. The Finance Secretary will be engaging with affected sectors immediately to consult on and confirm the details of support and money will be available as soon as possible. 

The COVID-19 booster programme continues to accelerate, with the online portal for 18-29 year-olds opening on Wednesday 15 December and the waiting period following vaccination reduced from 15 minutes to five minutes. COVID-19 booster jabs will be prioritised over the remainder of the flu vaccination programme to speed up vaccination times and enable more appointments.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Getting fully vaccinated is the best thing any of us can do to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the country. So please, book your booster jag as soon as possible. Speeding up vaccination is essential and I want to assure the nation that it is the government’s top priority.

“While we are speeding up vaccination, we must also try to slow down Omicron. That is why we are also proposing today, albeit reluctantly, some further protective measures. I am appealing to everyone to follow today’s advice, to help slow Omicron down while more of us get our boosters.

“I am not asking anyone to ‘cancel’ Christmas – but in the run up to and in the immediate aftermath of Christmas, I am asking everyone to reduce as far as possible, and to a minimum, the contacts we have with people in other households. 

“We are not banning or restricting household mixing in law as before – we understand the negative impact this has on mental health and wellbeing – but we are asking everyone, and we will issue strong guidance to this effect, to cut down as far as possible the number of people outside our own households that we are interacting with just now. This will help break transmission chains.

“Turning to Christmas Day specifically – or Christmas Eve or Boxing Day or whenever you have your main family celebration – we are not asking you to cancel or change your plans, and we are not proposing limits on the size of household gatherings. Places of worship will also remain open, with appropriate mitigations. But we will issue guidance to help you make Christmas safer.

“Omicron will be especially concerning to people on the Highest Risk List – the Chief Medical Officer will be writing to all of you shortly with further advice and assurance.”

Further guidance on additional measures announced by the First Minister will be published by the end of the week. These include:

  • Businesses, service providers and places of worship asked to take all reasonable measures to avoid crowding, encourage wearing of masks and support distancing in their premises
  • This will include guidance to ensure that people who can work from home, do so - for those in sectors where working from home is not possible, regular testing with lateral flow tests should be undertaken
  • Reinforcement of protective measures in retail and other settings including distancing, managing customer flows, and protective screens
  • Reinforcement of protective measures in hospitality settings including collection of contact tracing information and measures to reduce crowding
  • Guidance to increase mask wearing in outdoor crowded areas such as Christmas markets or festive celebrations

The Scottish Government’s strong recommendation continues to be that everyone should take a lateral flow test beforehand, on any occasion that you will be meeting another household, as an important way we can all reduce the risk of unknowingly spreading the virus to other people.

It remains vitally important to strictly adhere to all public health advice, being stringent around use of face coverings in all required settings, isolating for the full period when advised to, and ensuring good ventilation in spaces where households will mix. 

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GUIDANCE

Coronavirus (COVID-19): universities, colleges and community learning and development providers

Coronavirus (COVID-19): stadium sector guidance for professional football and rugby

Returning to offices https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-returning-to-offices/

Update on physical distance capacity guidance here

Updated strategic framework and level guidance here

Tourism and hospitality sector guidance here

Stadia and live events guidance here 

Coronavirus guidance for cinemas and drive-in cinemas 

Coronavirus guidance for museums galleries and heritage attractions 

Coronavirus guidance for funeral directors 

Coronavirus guidance for the events sector

Coronavirus guidance for sport and leisure facilities 

Coronavirus guidance for the tourism and hospitality sectors

Update on physical distance capacity guidance here

Updated strategic framework and level guidance here

Tourism and hospitality sector guidance here

Stadia and live events guidance here

Test and Protect – Multi-sector guidance on collection of customer and visitor contact details here

New 'Check In Scotland' app launches

Regular rapid testing available for everyone

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