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SCC Network Update: Scottish Government COVID-19 Strategic Framework

Posted: 1st December 2021

Following the Scottish Government’s updating of the COVID-19 Strategic Framework and the statements from the First Minister earlier this week in light of the Omicron variant, please see an update below from the Scottish Chambers of Commerce outlining the current situation for businesses.

Vaccine Certification:

The First Minister confirmed that there would no extension of the vaccine certification scheme to Parliament on the 23rd of November.

From December 6th , people attending venues covered by Scotland’s vaccine certification scheme are to be given the option of providing a recent negative lateral flow test for the virus, as an alternative to proof of vaccination.

Baseline Covid-19 Preventative Measures:

Currently no further measures have been introduced, however, the Scottish Government have stressed the importance of business and the public adhering to the existing baseline measures as being crucial to tackling the spread of the virus and avoiding any potential impact on trading.

The Scottish Government are also now recommending that those without symptoms take regular lateral flow tests – especially before mixing with other people.

Return to Office and Home Working position:

There is no legal change to return to office guidance, however the Scottish Government is asking employers to “maximise” home working. The Scottish Government have recognised that working from home has an impact on businesses and that employers are still best placed to work with employees to agree on hybrid working arrangements. More detail is available in the Strategic Framework.

Financial Support :
The Scottish Government have advised that financial support for business could be a significant challenge in the event of the reintroduction of any restrictions unless the UK Government agree additional funding. A letter to the Prime Minister from the Scottish and Welsh First Minsters’ requesting a Four Nations approach to funding has been issued.

International Travel:
Scotland has announced new restrictions on international travel amid fears over the Omicron coronavirus variant. Those returning from Non-Red List countries require everyone including those fully vaccinated to take a PCR test within two days of their arrival into Scotland. Passengers must also self-isolate until they test negative.

Red list arrivals must self-isolate in a hotel for at least 10 days and must take two Covid test during this period – regardless of vaccination status. The UK Government rejected the Scottish Government request for tougher rules that would require people arriving from overseas to self-isolate for 8 days , with PCR tests on day 2 and 8.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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