15th December 2021
As you will be aware, the First Minister yesterday updated the Scottish Parliament on new coronavirus restrictions in light of the Omicron variant.
We are expecting additional guidance from Scottish Government by the end of the week on what will be expected of businesses, but thought it would be helpful at this stage to quickly summarise the key points. As follows:
- Businesses are being asked to take all reasonable measures to avoid crowding, encourage wearing of masks and support distancing in their premises
- Guidance to ensure that people who can work from home, do so – for those in sectors who cannot work from home, the workplace testing scheme has been extended
- Reinforcement of protective measures in retail and other settings including distancing, managing customer flows, and protective screens
- Reinforcement of protective measures in hospitality settings including collection of contact tracing information and measures to reduce crowding – the Chamber’s #ProtectNorthHighlands service remains open and free to use for any business in the region which wishes to collect contact information in a safe, GDPR-compliant way.
- Guidance to increase mask wearing in outdoor crowded areas such as Christmas markets or festive celebrations
A £100m financial support package is being prepared for those in the hospitality, food supply, and culture sectors that have lost bookings during the festive period.
As we receive further details on the guidance and the specific legal requirements for businesses, as well as details of any support available, we will get this out to members as soon as possible.
Both locally and nationally, through the Scottish Chambers network, we continue to work to ensure that the needs of business are clear to government and that support is made available to businesses across the North Highlands.
In the interim, if you have any questions or concerns at this stage, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will do our best to assist.