23rd October 2020

The Scottish Government has today published its draft Strategic Framework for suppressing COVID-19, including details of the new tiered approach to restrictions and the business support that they are proposing to make available.

The full document can be downloaded here. It will be debated in Parliament on Tuesday 27 October and if passed will come into force on 2 November.

We will be liaising with colleagues in Scottish Chambers to provide feedback to Scottish Government as soon as possible, and would appreciate any feedback you have as members to enable this.

We have attempted to briefly summarise the key points of the document as follows:

The “Four Harms” Approach

The overall approach to this new framework aims to tackle the four harms of COVID-19:

  • Suppress the virus, protecting against direct harm to health
  • Support broader health and social care services
  • Mitigate social harms
  • Support the economy and protect against impact on business

New Protection Levels

Scottish Government has laid out five different protection levels, where Level 0 is broadly similar to the measures in place over the summer, and Level 4 is a return to something approaching full lockdown measures.

Full details of what the measures mean for different sectors and services can be found in Annex 1 to the Framework, and these can be very roughly summarised as follows:

  • Levels 0 / 1 – most businesses allowed to open and operate with limited restrictions; work from home to remain default; some level of indoor and in-home socialising possible
  • Levels 2 / 3 – many businesses allowed to open and operate with stricter restrictions; some close contact services not permitted; no in-home socialising and tighter restrictions on indoor activities
  • Level 4 – essential businesses and services only; some outdoor workplaces, manufacturing and construction permitted; no in-home or indoor socialising permitted

Specific tables for what activities are permitted in hospitality settings under each level can be found in Annex 2 to the Framework.

Proposed Support for Businesses

The Scottish Government is proposing to deliver the following support to businesses affected by the new restrictions, regardless of level:

  • A grant of £2,000 or £3,000 (depending on rateable value) for businesses required to close by law, payable every four weeks for the duration protective measures are in place
  • A hardship grant of £1,400 or £2100 (depending on rateable value) for businesses that remain open but are specifically required to modify their operations by protective measures, payable every four weeks for the duration measures are in place

Scottish Government expects that this support will be complemented by additional support from UK Government, for example via the Job Support Scheme (details of which we will be circulating shortly).

As ever, as we receive updates to this information, details of support available to businesses, or any further guidance or support of use to our members, we will endeavour to pass this information on as soon as possible.

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