Fri 23 Oct 20
The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced an extension to the temporary restrictions on hospitality businesses today (21 October) which will last until 6am on Monday 2 November, including the tighter measures in the five health board areas in the central belt.
She confirmed there would be an extension of the financial support available to the hospitality sector, including the business support grants and Scottish Government-backed furlough, with full details to be published.
A new strategic framework was also discussed at todays briefing which will see a five-tier framework setting out levels of restrictions published on Friday, and, subject to parliamentary approval, would be applied from Monday 2 November.
Current guidance for tourism and hospitality businesses.
Current guidance for the events sector.
Todays announcement requires many businesses to stay closed or to continue to restrict their trading and it was confirmed as a result, funding for business grants over this period will be increased proportionately.
The COVID-19 Restrictions Fund will now provide one-off grants of up to £4,310 to businesses required to close by regulations.
For businesses that may remain open but are directly impacted by the restrictions, the maximum hardship fund grant will increase to £2,155.
Additionally, grants of £1,650 will help those firms that are required to close to help meet the 20% employer’s contribution that they are required to pay under the current UK Government furlough scheme.
These one-off grants are for the period until 2 November only and will be replaced by a new system of business support to complement the “levels” approach due to be debated in Parliament next week.
Later this week a new strategic approach to managing COVID-19 will be published which will also set out the governments planned levels of support for the future in the event of further restrictions.
The First Minister made the point that while the level of support the government set out in the strategic framework will be the maximum level of support that the Scottish Government is able to provide within the resources available to us at this time, it is the minimum that the government think is necessary.
In common with other devolved administrations and many councils now across England, the Scottish Government will continue to pursue urgent discussions with the Treasury about the provision of adequate support and funding to support businesses and individuals through the kinds of restrictions that are likely to be necessary in the period ahead.
Read the full statement given by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to the Scottish Parliament, on 21 October 2020.
Read the overview of temporary restrictions to help reduce the spread of the virus: Coronavirus (COVID-19): additional measures - October 2020.