Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers Chief Executive, Fiona Campbell, said:
“Scotland’s self-catering sector has been brutally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and I’m incredibly proud of how we’ve behaved throughout it.
“It is with this in mind that the ASSC welcomes Scotland moving beyond level zero on 9 August and the partial normality it will bring to businesses up and down the country.
“However, we are not out of the woods yet and self-catering in Scotland still faces the very real threat posed by an impending restrictive licensing scheme that is certain to impinge on our ability to bounce back from this most difficult period.
“We understand that the First Minister doesn’t rule out future travel bans or local lockdowns but this possibility must be ameliorated by an evidence-led approach and adequate support for the businesses that need it.”
Briefing: FM Statement on Covid-19 Restrictions – 3rd August 2021
- The First Minister announced that Scotland would move ‘beyond Level 0’ in terms of the further easing of Covid-19 restrictions from Monday 9th August.
- However, a number of mitigation measures will remain in place “in line with the cautious approach” taken by the Scottish Government.
What Will Change from 9th August
- The move beyond Level 0 mean the lifting of most of the remaining legally imposed restrictions, such as physical distancing and limits to the size of social gatherings.
- However, on physical distancing, while the law will not stipulate this, the Scottish Government will continue to advise keeping a safe distance from other households and avoiding crowded places.
- No venues will be legally required to close.
- There are a number of changes to self-isolation rules:
- Adults identified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 will also no longer be automatically required to self-isolate for 10 days.
- Anyone double-vaccinated with at least two weeks passed since their second dose and who has no symptoms will be able to end self-isolation if they return a negative PCR test.
- The same conditions will also apply to anyone aged between 5-17 years old, even if they have not been vaccinated. The requirement to take a PCR test will not apply to children under 5.
- Test and Protect will also implement revised guidance for under 18s, meaning that the blanket isolation of whole classes in schools will no longer happen and a targeted approach, that only identifies children and young people who are higher risk close contacts, will be adopted.
- Face coverings will remain mandatory in the same indoor settings as happens now – and are likely to be mandated in law “for some time to come”.
- Test and protect will continue to contact-trace positive cases. There will be an ongoing requirement for indoor hospitality and similar venues to collect the contact details of customers.
- There will still be “appropriate outbreak control measures” such as travel restrictions and localised restrictions where necessary.
- The Scottish Government will continue to advise for home working where possible and will encourage employers in the long-term to consider a hybrid model of home and office working.
- There will be same approach in terms of the processes for the return of large-scale indoor and outdoor events having to apply for permission to go ahead.
- The Scottish Government will continue to issue guidance to assist businesses and individuals to reduce transmission.
- The FM noted that the Scottish Government were continuing to consider the limited use of Covid-19 passports for access to “higher risk” venues in the future.
- The Scottish Government are developing an app to make access to “Covid status certificates” easier for international travel and this will be launched next month.
- The app will have functionality to support the use of such certificates for domestic settings should the Scottish Government decide that this is appropriate.
- Further detail about measures announced by the First Minister in her statement and updated guidance for the education sector will be published shortly.
- For further and higher education, the FM stated guidance on operating beyond Level 0 for universities and colleges had been published. Students would be encouraged to take a PCR test before any move to term-time accommodation, and then to test twice a week after that.
- Further guidance will be provided to businesses to help them adopt measures to mitigate risks, including ensuring good ventilation; maintaining good hand hygiene; practising respiratory hygiene; getting vaccinated; and continuing to engage with Test and Protect.
- Responding for the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross said the easing of restrictions was a welcome step but ongoing restrictions would hold back recovery, highlighting the fact that despite Scotland moving beyond Level 0, a number of curbs would remain in place.
- Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar that “while there was light at the end of the tunnel”, the country was at a crucial stage in the battle against Covid-19 and therefore needed increased support for the test and trace system and pop-up vaccination clinics at sporting events and universities.
- Scottish Green Co-Leader cautioned on the emphasis on Covid passports which would raise human right implications. Similarly, Liam McArthur of the Scottish Lib Dems called on the Scottish Government to rule out domestic vaccine passports.
 A full copy of the First Minister’s statement can be accessed here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-update-first-ministers-statement-3-august-2021-1/