Coronavirus (COVID-19): Constituency support – updated 22 January 2021

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Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) are receiving a large number of enquiries relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19).  SPICe is still responding to enquiries through the usual enquiry process.

However, to aid MSPs in responding to their constituents, and for the use of anyone else who is interested, we are providing this blogpost.

The post contains links to trusted and official external sources of information relating to issues that constituents may be needing advice on.

Please see our COVID-19 hub for a full list of subject specific SPICe blogs 

Blog layout

We have included an introductory section on ‘where are we now?’ which relates to the current protection levels prescribed by the Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework

This section is followed by sources broken down into broad subjects, each section split into ‘guidance’ and ‘funding and support’.

The blog is broken down into the following sections:

SPICe will also keep our other publications in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19) under review. Please sign-up to Spotlight and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date.

Where are we now?

The Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework sets out a five-level system of restrictions, applied by local authority. The current levels for each framework can be found in the Scottish Government’s guidance on local protection levels.

On Tuesday 5 January, mainland Scotland moved from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes. The First Minister announced on Tuesday 19 January that current lockdown measures will stay in place across mainland Scotland and some island communities until at least the middle of February.

Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, remain at Level 3, with the exception of Barra and Vatersay, which moved into lockdown from 00:01 on Wednesday 20 January, following a sharp increase in infection rates. 

The following islands in Argyll and Bute are at level 3: The Isle of Coll, the Isle of Colonsay, the Isle of Erraid, the Isle of Gometra, the Isle of Iona, the Isle of Islay, the Isle of Jura, the Isle of Mull, the Isle of Oronsay, the Isle of Tiree, and the Isle of Ulva.

All islands in Highland are in level 3, except the Isle of Skye.

Key Sources

Business & Industry (including business support, employment, retail, consumer rights, and utilities )

Information and Guidance

Funding and Support

Culture & Sport

Information and Guidance

Funding and Support

Education (including childcare)

Early learning and Childcare

Schools

Higher and Further Education

Funding announcements

Environment & Energy

News and guidance

Health & Social Care

Information and Guidance for patients

Information and Guidance for health and social care professionals

Funding and Support

Housing and Planning

Information and Guidance

Funding and Support

  • Scottish Government £10 million Tenant Hardship Loan Fund to help people who have had their finances or employment impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and do not have other means of housing support. (7 December 2020)
  • Scottish Government initiatives to support homebuyers – raising the threshold at which Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) is paid from £145,000 to £250,000 and additional funding for the First Home Fund (9 July 2020)
  • Scottish Government one-year extension to the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme (11 June 2020)

Justice

Information and Guidance

Funding and Support

Parliament & Government

Legislation

Scottish Government Action

Scottish Parliament Action

People & Communities (including charities, third sector and volunteering)

Information and Guidance

  • UK Government Covid fraud hotline – enables people to report suspected fraudulent use of coronavirus support schemes anonymously and free of charge

Funding and Support

  • Scottish Government Further funding for councils to provide free school meals through the winter breaks and additional flexibility to use £20 million, previously held in reserve for the Scottish Welfare Fund, to support people in their communities (20 October 2020)

Rural Affairs

Information and Guidance

Funding and Support

Social Security

Information and Guidance

Funding and Support

Transport, Travel & Tourism

Information and Guidance

Funding and Support