Thursday 20 August 2020
The First Minister announced the latest review of the lockdown measures in Parliament today.
The following easing of restrictions with indicative dates are as follows:
With effect from Monday 24 August
- Outdoor contact sports (all ages) can resume following guidance of relevant sports bodies.
- Outdoor seated live events and outdoor open space live events – with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene, and restricted numbers – following guidance. Work will be undertaken with the sector on options for larger pilot events.
- Driving lessons can resume – following guidance.
- Child contact centres can re-open following guidance.
- Face-to-face advice services, including Citizens Advice, can resume – following guidance.
- Bingo halls can re-open with physical distancing and following guidance.
- Amusement arcades and casinos can re-open following guidance (incl. enhanced hygiene).
- Snooker/pool halls and indoor bowling can re-open – following guidance (incl. enhanced hygiene).
- Funfairs – both static and travelling – can re-open, following guidance.
With effect from Monday 31 August
- Gyms (indoor) can re-open – following guidance.
- Swimming pools can re-open – following guidance.
- Indoor sports courts can reopen – following guidance, incl. skating, dance studios: Children (0-12) years can resume all activity; adults and young people (12+) can resume non-contact activity only.
- Indoor activities for children and young people (unregulated) can resume subject to guidance that will vary by activity. Indoor youth work can resume for young people in line with guidance
You can access the updated routemap here: https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/progress-report/2020/08/covid-19-framework-decision-making-scotlands-route-map-through-out-crisis-phase-3-update-20-august-2020/documents/scotlands-route-map-through-out-crisis-phase-3-update-20-august-2020/scotlands-route-map-through-out-crisis-phase-3-update-20-august-2020/govscot%3Adocument/scotlands-route-map-through-out-crisis-phase-3-update-20-august-2020.pdf
The polling over the past few months has been fantastic with the results of the latest poll flipping the referendum vote of 2014 55% -45% in favour.
For the Unionist parties to continue to deny the Scottish people the right to self-determination by means of another referendum is absurd.
The people of Scotland must be given the opportunity to exert their democratic right.
Details of a voucher scheme to help ensure everyone in Scotland will have access to superfast broadband by the end of 2021 was announced this week by the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme will provide funding of up to £5,000 to help homes and businesses not in scope of either Reaching 100% (R100) contracts or planned commercial investment to obtain superfast broadband where providers may not ordinarily go.
Interim vouchers of up to £400 are also being made available for premises where superfast broadband is planned for after the end of 2021 – with an additional £250 for those in the hardest-to-reach areas.
An online postcode checker has been launched to give homes and businesses information on superfast roll-out in their area as well as providing information on voucher scheme eligibility.
The R100 online postcode tracker is live now here https://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/
Following on from the broadband news I wanted to highlight my question in Parliament this week on this very issue.
You may recall I highlighted the work of Glasgow’s Golden Generation (GGG) throughout the first few months of the Covid-19 pandemic and the support they were offering older and vulnerable people across the constituency.
In addition to this support GGG have also been distributing Ipads which have literally been a lifeline for so many who have been shielding. The Ipads have enabled them to connect with family, friends and other organisations which has gone a long way in combatting the isolation so many people have felt.
However this has also thrown up a number of problems namely, the costs involved, inability to use the technology, no support in finding the right technology and set up and that the whole experience is daunting.
The support offered by the Scottish Government announced this week will go some way in addressing the problems raised and I very much welcome this action.
You can access the full exchange here: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=12750
Support for Young People
Some good news this week for our young people with the announcement of a new benefit to support 16 to 24 year olds into work if they have been unemployed for six months will open for applications on Monday 17 August.
Job Start Payment is a one off £250 payment to help with the costs of starting a new job. The upper age limit rises to 25 for care leavers and the payment rises to £400 if the person has a child.
You can access further information on the payment here: https://www.socialsecurity.gov.scot/news/new-benefit-launched-to-help-16-24-year-olds-into-work
Survivors of historical child abuse in care in Scotland will have the opportunity to apply for financial redress payments of up to £80,000 under a proposed new law.
The Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill seeks to provide tangible recognition of the harm caused to those who were abused as children in relevant residential care settings before 1 December 2004.
The Bill will set up a new independent body, Redress Scotland, to assess applications for financial redress. Survivors can apply for a fixed rate redress payment of £10,000 or an individually assessed redress payment which will involve a more detailed examination of their experience. The individually assessed redress payment levels are set at £20,000, £40,000 or £80,000.
The Bill seeks to establish a financial redress scheme that will be non-adversarial and sensitive to the needs of survivors. It will offer a faster alternative to the civil court process and access to elements of non-financial redress including therapeutic support.
In some circumstances, next of kin of deceased survivors will be able to apply for a redress payment of £10,000.
More details of the Bill can be found here: https://beta.parliament.scot/bills/redress-for-survivors-historical-child-abuse-in-care-scotland-bill
As always remember to follow the FACTS:
Face coverings in enclosed spaces
Avoid crowded places
Clean hands and surfaces regularly
Two metre distancing; and
Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms