Covid-19 TfB Hub

Coronavirus (COVID-19): December and January Business Support Top Up - Hospitality - information for businesses

 

The December and January Business Support Top Up – Hospitality will provide financial support to businesses in the hospitality sector affected by the latest public health advice. 

The grant is a one-off payment at the rate of:

  • £4,500 for premises which have a rateable value of up to and including £51,000, or
  • £6,800 for premises have a rateable value of £51,001 or above

The December and January Business Support Top Up – Hospitality will provide support to businesses in the hospitality sector who have lost crucial bookings during this key trading period where they are registered as one of the following:

  • public houses
  • restaurants,
  • cafes
  • other licensed premises classed as hospitality
  • nightclubs
  • hotels with bars and restaurants

In the first instance, local authorities will contact businesses they have previously made payments to through the Strategic Framework Business Fund. 

£100 million support for business

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced the breakdown of a lifeline £100 million financial package to support businesses experiencing cancellations due to the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant.

The £100 million support package is broken down into:

  • £66 million for eligible hospitality businesses
  • £20 million for the culture sector
  • £8 million for food and drink supply chain businesses including wholesalers
  • £3 million for the wedding sector
  • £3 million for the worst affected businesses in the tourism sector, including international inbound tour operators

Final details of the funding available and how to apply is being determined in discussion with business organisations and will be published next week. Eligible hospitality businesses will be contacted directly by their local authorities and will not need to apply for support.

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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Coronavirus (COVID-19): staying safe and protecting others

Updated guidance applying from 09 August – extracts from Scot Govt publication. 

Self-isolation

Beyond Level 0, the requirement to self-isolate as a close contact of a positive case has changed for fully vaccinated individuals, as long as you remain asymptomatic.

You do not need to self-isolate as a close contact if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • you are fully vaccinated and 14 days has passed since your second dose of vaccination
  • you have taken a negative PCR test since being advised to isolate as a close contact. You must remain in self-isolation while awaiting the result of the PCR test result
  • you do not develop COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms develop at any stage, you must self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test, in line with existing arrangements 

Face coverings

Unless exempt for specific circumstances, the law says you must wear a face covering in most indoor public places including public transport. 

Hospitality

Local licensing laws will apply to all hospitality though the mandatory collection of contact details remains in place.  There is no requirement to wear a mask while seated at a table or while eating or drinking (whether seated or standing).  However, to help reduce transmission risks and protect staff and customers, we would strongly encourage the use of table service where possible, alternatively a takeaway service may also be provided. 

Nightclubs and adult entertainment

In line with other hospitality venues, nightclubs, discos, dance halls and adult entertainment venues may now reopen subject to the requirements for face coverings and the mandatory collection of customer details.  Masks may be removed for dancing, as well as for eating and drinking under the allowed exemptions. 

Flexible working practices 

The removal of restrictions more generally means that people who have been able to work remotely can begin to return to their office or other place of work.  However, working from home, where appropriate and possible, will continue to be an important mitigation for controlling the virus as it reduces the movement and interaction of a lot of people on a regular basis which is how the virus transmits.

Where practical, we are encouraging employers to facilitate flexible working practices based on discussions with their staff and unions where appropriate. This may mean more of a hybrid approach to work, allowing both home and office-based working. This would maintain the wellbeing benefits many have found while working from home, but also allow options for those who are keen to return to an office environment. Staggered office hours or a mixture of commuting and non-commuting days would also ease pressure on rush hour traffic and public transport, thereby further reducing risks of COVID-19 transmission.  

Employers, businesses and organisations should maintain or develop effective processes to manage outbreaks in a workplace or public setting as part of their COVID-19 risk assessments.

 

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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