Thursday 25 June 2020
The First Minister gave a statement to Parliament this week on lifting further lockdown measures which have been widely anticipated.
You can access the updated Routemap here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-scotlands-route-map-indicative-dates-remainder-phase-2-early-phase-3/pages/2/
As an overview from Monday 29 June the following Phase 2 measures will commence:
- indoor (non-office) workplaces resume once relevant guidance is implemented. This includes: factories, warehouses, labs and research facilities. But excludes: indoor workplaces due to open in Phase 3 (e.g. nonessential offices and call-centres)
- street-access retail can re-open once guidance is implemented. Interiors of shopping centres/malls remain closed for non-essential shops until Phase 3
- outdoor markets can re-open once guidance is implemented
- relaxation on restrictions on housing moves
- outdoor sports courts can re-open
- playgrounds can re-open
- registration offices open for high priority tasks
- marriages and civil partnerships allowed with minimal attendees, strictly outdoors only
- zoos and garden attractions can open for local access only (broadly within 5 miles) until 3 July
Indicative Phase 2 dates:
3 July – Travel distance limit for leisure will be lifted
3 July – Self-catering holiday accommodation will be permitted, providing it requires no shared facilities between households
6 July – Outdoor hospitality can commence subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review
Indicative Phase 3 dates:
10 July – People can meet in extended groups outdoors, with physical distancing
10 July – Households can meet indoors with up to a maximum of two households, with physical distancing
13 July – Organised outdoor contact sport can resume for children and young people, subject to guidance
13 July – All dental practices begin to see registered patients for non-aerosol routine care, and work will begin to return aerosol generating procedures to practice safely
13 July – Increasing capacity within community optometry practices for emergency and essential eye care
13 July – Non-essential shops inside shopping centres can reopen, subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review
15 July – All childcare providers can open subject to individual provider arrangements
15 July – All holiday accommodation will be permitted
15 July – Indoor hospitality can reopen, subject to the Scientific Advisory Group review
15 July – Hairdressers and barbers can reopen with enhanced hygiene measures
15 July – Museums, galleries, cinemas, monuments, libraries will reopen with physical distancing and other measures, such as ticketing in advance
The First Minister made clear that we must all continue to be vigilant with our hygiene and social distancing – as long as we follow the guidelines we are all contributing in suppressing the virus.
The Cabinet Secretary for Finance has written to the UK Government seeking additional powers for the Scottish Parliament to deal with the impact of Covid-19.
As the Cabinet Secretary has said we are trying to deal with the economic impact of the virus with one hand tied behind our backs. The Scottish Government’s Economic Advisory Group has called for an accelerated review of the Devolved Fiscal Framework to ensure Holyrood has the borrowing powers and access to capital needed to fuel Scotland’s coronavirus recovery.
These additional powers are essential and we also need a guarantee from the UK Government that the funding that was promised to tackle the pandemic is provided in full.
Very good news this week with the passing of the Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Bill. This Bill will for the first time, give mixed sex couples the right to enter a civil partnership in Scotland.
The new legislation means that all couples in Scotland will have the same choices should they decide they want a legally recognised relationship.
Secondary legislation in the Scottish and UK Parliaments will be necessary for mixed sex civil partnerships to take place in Scotland, and this work will now be progressed.
I’m sure many of you will be pleased with the announcement from the Deputy First Minister John Swinney that schools will return full-time in August if Scotland continues to make progress on suppressing coronavirus.
The moves comes after significant progress was made in reducing incidence rates of the virus, putting Scotland on a more positive trajectory than previously expected.
As a result, the Scottish Government has now made it a central planning assumption that pupils will return to class full-time in August. This is conditional on infection rates being sufficiently low to continue to control the virus, public health and testing systems being in place and protective measures and risk assessments being carried out in schools.
Further information and updates for Glasgow City Council can be found here: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/article/25947/Recovery-Resilience-and-Reconnection-2020
Almost £258 million of additional funding for vital local services, such as food provision for those in need, education and social care, has been approved by the Scottish Parliament.
The provision of a further £72 million is being agreed with COSLA and will be subject to Parliamentary approval in due course. This will bring the total additional funding provided to help Scotland’s local authorities combat coronavirus (COVID-19) to almost £330 million with Glasgow City Council receiving over £31 million.
This extra funding is on top of the local government finance settlement of £11.4 billion, which already provided an increase of £589.4 million (5.8%) compared to the previous year.
Our creative arts industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The Scottish Government have taken action and I very much welcome the formation of the National Partnership for Culture (NPC) which will deliver Scotland’s culture strategy.
The NPC is made up of 14 experts from across Scotland’s culture sector. The group will advise on challenges facing the culture sector from coronavirus and will build on the recommendations recently set out to the First Minister by the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery.
You can access further information on the group here: https://www.gov.scot/groups/national-partnership-for-culture/
The Culture Strategy can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/culture-strategy-scotland/
A new taskforce created to drive forward the recovery of Scotland’s vital tourism sector is to meet for the first time.
The Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce (STRT) is made up of more than 30 businesses with experience from across the industry. It is co-chaired by Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing and Business Minister Jamie Hepburn.
The taskforce will meet regularly in the coming weeks to provide strategic advice on recovering from the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). Its creation follows a package of measures including the recently published tourism and hospitality guidance and a business support package worth more than £2.3 billion.
The taskforce is expected to publish a report on recovery by the end of September and you can access additional information on guidance for the sector here Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector guidance and for those accessing the sector here Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for retail, tourism and hospitality customers
NHS Dental Practices
The Chief Dental Officer Tom Ferris has written to NHS dentists to advise that they will be able to treat patients for non-aerosol routine care from Monday 13 July.
In addition, work will begin to safely return aerosol generating procedures to practice.
This follows the publication of further route map dates to ease lockdown restrictions in Scotland.
As a result, NHS dentists will be able to treat patients who have not been able to access treatment.
As always can I remind everyone that the virus whilst being suppressed is still circulating and it is crucial that we all continue to follow the Scottish Government guidance probably now more than ever with certain lockdown measures being relaxed.
Stay safe, wash your hands regularly, wear a face mask when travelling on public transport or whilst shopping. Your vigilance and co-operation so far has contributed to where we are now and it is very much appreciated.
The next Ebrief will be issued on 9 July.