Thursday 14 May 2020
With some very slight changes to lockdown measures I wanted to reiterate the guidance from the Scottish Government. Everything remains the same apart from a small relaxation on the amount of times you can go out to exercise. You can now do this more than once a day but everything else was as before. Only go out for essentials, do not mix with anyone outwith your household, keep a 2 metre distance and wash your hands regularly.
The Scottish Government have a dedicated Coronavirus page which sets out a wealth of information and guidance for everyone across Scotland. You can access this here: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
I also have a dedicated page on my website for information, guidance and advice which can be accessed here: https://sandrawhitemsp.scot/category/covid/
Glasgow City Council also have a dedicated page on their website detailing what support they can offer here: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/coronavirus
The UK Government have announced and extension to the Job Retention Scheme which is very good news and will come as a huge relief for both employees and employers across the country.
The Scottish Government had written to the Chancellor seeking an extension to the scheme beyond June. The scheme will now be extended to the end of October. However we still need clarity on what employers will be asked to contribute to the costs of the scheme, how any changes will relate to guidance on safer workplaces in each of the four nations, how workers in isolation will be supported and what additional support might be provided to industries, such as tourism and hospitality, facing specific difficulties.
Support for the self-employed opened yesterday. If you need to access this support you should make contact with HMRC directly. More information on this can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
Community support networks are continuing to make a huge difference to people’s lives across the constituency with Mel Milaap Day Centre and Wing Hong Centre offering vital support for older citizens during lockdown.
Both of these groups are delivering hot meals and necessary food items to the most vulnerable ethnic minority older people across Glasgow. They are also tackling social isolation with phone calls to older people.
This has been made possible with the funding they have received through the Scottish Government COVID-19 community funding.
Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff continue to work both in Parliament and remotely.
I have this week attended (virtually) Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body of which I am a member and the Health and Sport Committee where we were discussing the Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) (Scotland) Bill.
You can access the full broadcast of the meeting here: https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/health-and-sport-committee-may-12-2020
Chamber business included the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill (No 2). You may know that the Scottish Government introduced an emergency bill Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 containing substantial further powers and measures to ensure the continuation of essential public services throughout the coronavirus outbreak at the end of March. This Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 1 April 2020 with most provisions coming into effect on 7 April.
The purpose of the new Bill is to make further changes to the way essential public services operate, to provide more support for business and to assist central and local government and health and social care services to respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can read the transcript of the debate here: https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/ReportSelectPage.aspx?type=plenary&year=2020&page=0&meeting=-1 or watch the full parliamentary proceedings here: https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/debate-coronavirus-scotland-no2-bill-may-13-2020
Finally, I wish you all well and if you have any issues you want to raise please do not hesitate in contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember Stay Safe Stay Home.