Covid-19: Scotland’s Strategic Framework
The First Minister today announced details of the Scottish Governments new strategy for dealing with the virus called ‘Covid19 – Scotland’s Strategic Framework’. The full document can be accessed here and key elements of the new plan are highlighted below:
Overview & Rationale
- The Scottish Government is moving to a strategic approach to outbreak management based on five levels of protection. The document aims to provide a more transparent and understandable framework for managing outbreaks and allow rapid but proportionate responses to be taken – locally or nationally – using a range of measures and options.
- The framework aims to give the capacity to respond on a national basis if required, but also to avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach if it is not: one part of the country with low rates of infection does not have to live with the level of protective measures designed to suppress the virus in areas with much higher rates.
- Decision making around which tiers will apply at any one time will be based on ‘four harms’ evidence outlined in the document, and it is possible to move up and down the levels as infection rates dictate.
On Business Support
- A grant of £2,000 or £3,000 (depending on rateable value) will be available for business required to close by law and will be payable every four weeks for the duration protective measures are in place
- A hardship grant of £1,400 or £2100 (depending on rateable value) will be available for businesses that remain open but are specifically required to modify their operations by protective measures, again payable every four weeks for the duration measures are in place
- These grants will be provided regardless of level, to eligible businesses, and paid in fortnightly instalments (subject to discussions with local authorities). The Scottish Government expects this bespoke support to be supplemented by UK Government support, not least the revised Job Retention Scheme announced by the Chancellor yesterday and launching on 1 November (see details below).
- Financial support will be made available as levels are reviewed, and the Scottish Government will work with local authorities to ensure a quick and efficient local delivery mechanism for this support. Scottish Government say that they will also continue to engage with specific sectors who have may face unique impacts.