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Further Scottish Government Restrictions to Tackle Covid-19

 The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced additional steps to help control the omicron variant of Covid-19 in Scotland. These measures were largely concentrated on the events and hospitality sector.

In her statement, the First Minister reiterated guidance on reducing the number of contacts to no more than three households in indoor settings. However, this remains advice and is not statutory. We therefore direct you to our previous statement of 20thDecember in terms of refunds.
We of course understand that some of your guests have already chosen to cancel bookings, or may be inclined to do so in light of developments, and you will be keen to understand if any financial support from government will be available.
The Scottish Government have released some limited details of funding packages for affected sectors. The £100m Covid support fund announced last week includes £3m for the tourism sector that will be delivered by Visit Scotland, to support businesses that their previous funds allowed. Today, the First Minister announced a further £275m of support, which draws on funding from HM Treasury, but full details of this have yet to be provided. The Scottish Government have stated that “an update will be provided on the breakdown and allocation of funding as soon as possible.”
At the present time, we have no idea what any future funding packages will look like.
The ASSC will continue to collate evidence of the impact of the guidance on our sector and will engage with the Scottish Government and STERG. Please bear with us and we will endeavour to keep you updated as much as possible.
A full copy of the First Minister’s speech of 21st December can be accessed here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-update-first-ministers-statement-21-december-2021/
The updated rules and guidance relating to Covid-19 can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/


During her COVID-19 update today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon covered the following (21/12/21):

  • The FM confirmed that 5,242 new cases of COVID-19 had been identified in the last 24 hours. She also confirmed that 515 people were in hospital. She also noted that there were 37 people in ICUs and that 9 deaths had occurred, bringing the total to 9,790. Of those cases identified, 62.9 percent of cases had been found to be of the Omicron variant. The FM noted an acceleration in the booster vaccine programme, observing that well over half of the population had received a booster.
  • The FM outlined the impact that Omicron is having on sectors including the health service, social care, entertainment, and others, stressing its severity and the need for action.
  • The FM noted that the advice for Christmas will not change. However, she reiterated the advice previously given on keeping safe during gatherings. The FM urged Scots, from December 27, to limit their numbers of contacts, stay socially distant, and stay at home as much as possible. She also outlined new rules. From December 26, for a period of up to three weeks, a limit would be placed on large public events:
    • The limits will be 100 attendees at indoor standing events, 200 at indoor seated events, and 500 for outdoor events.
  • Turning to hospitality, the FM noted further “protections” that will be introduced. This will include mandatory table services and one meter social distancing between groups and no more than three households represented in any one group. She confirmed that eligibility and guidance for hospitality would be published later today. Further, she noted an extra £375million of business support would be provided, drawing together money from the Scottish Government’s own resources and HM Treasury funding.
  • In the following questions, both the Labour and Conservative leaders urged the FM to get funding to businesses as quickly as possible. The FM reiterated her plans and defended them as the best course of action. Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton highlighted the needs of the events and tourism sectors in the context of testing. The FM said she understood the sectors’ concerns and stressed that the government was doing everything possible to provide support and increase capacity.

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