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First Minister’s Statement 17th November 2020

During her weekly statement to Parliament, the First Minister covered the following (17/11/20):

  • The FM confirmed that additional 1248 new cases of COVID-19 had been identified, bringing the total to 83259. She also confirmed that 1249 people were in hospital, with 95 in ICUs. She further confirmed that there had been 37 additional deaths reported in the previous 24 hours bringing the total to 3323.
  • The FM noted that the National Records of Scotland would publish its data tomorrow and drew particular attention to the fact that it would probably show there had been more than 5000 deaths from COVID-19 in Scotland.
  • The FM said she expected two areas, East Lothian and Midlothian, to move from level 3 to level 2.
  • The FM announced that 11 council areas would now be moving into level 4 until 11 December:
    • City of Glasgow
    • Renfrewshire
    • East Renfrewshire
    • East Dunbartonshire
    • West Dunbartonshire
    • North Lanarkshire
    • South Lanarkshire
    • East Ayrshire
    • South Ayrshire
    • Stirling
    • West Lothian
  • The FM explained that closed businesses would be able to apply for four week grants that are open now. She also announced a £30m discretionary fund for councils and £15m for the self-employed.
  • The FM noted that as of Friday 20 November, the travel restrictions in place in Scotland would enforceable by law if a “clear and flagrant breach” is found to have been committed. This will mean that nobody should travel between level 3 and 4 areas other than for “essential purposes” such as caring responsibilities.
  • During the following session of questions, Scottish Conservative Holyrood group leader Ruth Davidson quizzed the FM on the strain Scotland’s hospitals were currently under and their capacity, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard grilled the FM on the logic behind areas moving up in the level system and the length of time they’d be in the new level, Scottish Green co-convenor Alison Johnstone talked about a perceived lack of commitment to testing for key workers, and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie asked the FM about infection rates.

The majority of local authorities will remain at their current level and you can check which level applies by using the Scottish Government postcode checker.

Details of the restrictions in level 4 areas are available here.

Business Support

In addition to the UK furlough scheme, all businesses that require to close, at any level, are eligible for a four weekly grant of £2,000 or £3,000, depending on rateable value. Grants of £1,400 or £2,100 are available to businesses that are open, but subject to trading restrictions.

There is further information here.

In addition, the Scottish Government is establishing a £30 million discretionary fund to enable local authorities to provide additional support for businesses where they consider that necessary or justified – for example, for businesses in supply chains, or to taxi drivers suffering a severe but indirect effect.

£15 million is also being made available for newly self-employed people who have not been able to access other forms of support and £15 million will be available to local authorities to help with the community and social impact of a move to level 4.

More details of these funds will be made available shortly.

Further Information

Link to today’s news release.

Link to First Minister’s statement.

Protection levels that will apply in each local authority area with evidence and analysis informing these decisions.

Read the response from the Scottish Tourism Alliance here.

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