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This update from the Scottish Government directs businesses to the most up to date information on COVID-19 as they move forward with their economic response.

The Find Business Support website has information on all the support available to businesses that have been affected by COVID-19 restrictions. We would encourage businesses to check the website for more information on what support they are eligible for and how they can apply.

The UK has now left the European Union, this update will highlight developments around Brexit that will be of particular interest to businesses.

For the most up-to-date Brexit advice and support visit the Prepare for Brexit website.

In a Statement to Parliament today, the First Minister set out an indicative timetable for the re-opening of parts of the economy over the next two months.

The indicative timetable includes:

From 2 April:
• A lifting of the ‘Stay at Home’ requirement and replacing it with a ‘Stay Local’ message (retaining the current, local authority-based travel restrictions for at least a three-week period)

From 5 April:
• reopening of non-essential ‘click and collect’ retail
• extending the list of retail permitted to include garden centres (indoor and outdoor), key cutting shops, mobility equipment shops, baby equipment shops, electrical repair shops, hairdressers and barbers (with shopfronts – not mobile services) by appointment only, homeware shops and vehicle showrooms (appointment only) and forecourts

From 26 April:
• travel within all of mainland Scotland permitted (subject to other restrictions that remain in place)
• remaining shops can reopen and mobile close contact services can resume
• gyms can reopen for individual exercise
• tourist accommodation to reopen (self-catering accommodation to be restricted in line with rules on indoor gathering)
• work in people’s homes to resume
• driving lessons to resume
• weddings and funerals for up to 50 (including wakes and receptions with no alcohol permitted)
• libraries, museums, galleries re-open
• outdoor hospitality to open till 22:00 with alcohol permitted. Indoor hospitality permitted without alcohol and closing at 20:00

From 17 May:
• further re-opening of hospitality: bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can stay open until 22:30 indoors with alcohol permitted and 2 hour time-limited slots and until 22:00 outdoors with alcohol permitted
• adult outdoor contact sport and indoor group exercises can resume
• cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls can re-open
• small scale indoor and outdoor events can resume subject to capacity constraints (to be confirmed following stakeholder engagement)
• non-professional performance arts can resume outdoors

June

The First Minister said it is too early to give specific dates beyond May. However, understanding the need for people and businesses to plan, from the start of June, it is hoped that Scotland can move back to Level 1 of the Strategic Framework, allowing further relaxation across all areas of the economy and society, while still applying physical distancing and other non-pharmaceutical interventions and the FACTS guidance.

A move to Level 0 is hoped to be able to take place from the end of June.

Business Support

The last four-weekly Strategic Framework Business Fund payment of up to £3,000 will be paid on 22 March, as scheduled and grants of up to £7,500 for retailers and up to £19,500 for hospitality and leisure businesses will be paid in April to help businesses re-open progressively. These one-off re-start grants will replace ongoing SFBF payments and will provide more money up front to help with the costs of re-opening. Eligible businesses must have applied to the SFBF by 22 March in order to receive these payments.

Further Information
Link to the full indicative timetable https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-timetable-for-easing-restrictions/pages/timetable/

Link to further information on support for businesses https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-timetable-for-easing-restrictions/pages/support-for-business/

Link to the First Minister’s statement https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-update-march-16-2021/

Link to News Release

https://www.gov.scot/news/timetable-for-further-lockdown-easing/

The Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework is now operational, you can find out exactly which coronavirus lockdown restrictions apply to you by using the Scottish Government’s postcode checker.

Safer workplace guidance is released on a sectoral basis and can be found here.  

Grants are available for businesses that are required by law to close or to significantly change operations as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Find out who is eligible and how to apply here.

The NHS Inform coronavirus webpage is the fastest way for people to get the latest health advice and information.



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