At today’s media briefing the First Minister outlined the Scottish Government’s new five-level framework which will allow for a refreshed strategic approach to suppressing Coronavirus outbreaks across Scotland. The Chancellor has also announced that the UK Government will significantly increase its winter support schemes.
The framework indicates different levels of protection that might be needed based on different levels of transmission for the virus. It will allow for rapid but proportionate responses on both a local and national basis using a transparent range of measures and options. The framework will comprise of five protection levels: ·
- Level 0 is effectively the same level of protection as the Route Map Phase 3 measures Scotland reached in August and will act as a baseline.
- Levels 1, 2 and 3 will be broadly equivalent to the UK Government levels to offer some uniformity with measures south of the border.
From 2 November, firms that are required by law to close will be eligible for grants every four weeks for as long as the restrictions last. Based on rateable values, awards will be for either £2,000 or £3,000. Businesses which can remain open, but are directly constrained by the measures, will be eligible for grants worth £1,400 or £2,100, again based on rateable value.This support is in addition to the UK Government’s revised furlough scheme launching on 1 November.The Scottish Government will work with local authorities to ensure grants are made available quickly and efficiently.
In the coming days the Scottish Government will engage with local government, stakeholders, economic groups and other partners, prior to a final version of the strategic framework being debated in parliament Tuesday 27 October. Further details on which local authority areas of Scotland will fall under which levels will be announced following discussions with directors of public health and local authorities, taking on board recommendations from the national incident management team, before coming into force on 2 November.
- Link to Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland’s Strategic Framework published today.
- Link to the First Minister’s full statement
Link to strategic framework press release
- Link to financial support press release.
The Chancellor yesterday announced that the UK Government will significantly increase its winter support schemes to ensure livelihoods and jobs across the UK continue to be protected in the difficult months to come.
Support through the Job Support Scheme for open businesses has been increased to:
- reduce the minimum hours requirement to 20%;
- reduce the employer contribution for unworked hours to 5%; and so that
- the UK Government will provide up to 61.67% of wages for hours not worked, up to £1541.75 per month (more than doubling the maximum payment of £697.92 under the previous rules).
- the Job Support Scheme Closed for businesses legally required to close remains unchanged
Further details can be found here. Full guidance will be published in the coming weeks.