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COVID-19

Business start re-open

Business start reopening after lockdown in Scotland from Monday 5 April

Business start reopening, cautious easing of lockdown

Hairdressers, garden centres, car showrooms and forecourts, homeware stores and non-essential click and collect services will be able to open from Monday 5 April Business start reopening after lockdown, subject to enhanced safety measures including physical distancing, face coverings and pre-booking where appropriate.

More college students will be able to return to on-campus learning and 12-17 year-olds will be able to resume outdoor contact sports from this date.

Restrictions on non-essential travel across local authority boundaries will remain in place.

People must stay within their council area for non-essential shopping and should only travel to another area for essential shopping if there are no practical alternatives.

People should also continue to work from home where they can to prevent unnecessary contact that could risk transmission of the virus.

Business start re-open
Business start reopening after lockdown

The latest easing of restrictions comes as data shows continued suppression of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and progress on vaccination. Virtually all over 65 year olds have now received a first dose of the vaccine, and the average daily case rate is now 539 new cases per day, a decline of more than 75% since early January.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“We have made progress both in suppressing the virus and in vaccination, and therefore the changes I previously indicated will go ahead on 5 April.

“The stay at home rule is being replaced by a requirement to stay local – while Covid levels remain high in some areas, and while a lot of people remain unvaccinated, we do not want the virus to spread from areas with relatively high prevalence to areas with low rates of infection. That’s why the current travel restrictions, which prevent non-essential travel outside your local authority area, are really important.

Lockdown Timetable
Business start reopening

“It will be easier to relax more restrictions in the future if case numbers remain under control, so when things open up slightly this weekend please continue to stick to the rules, and follow the advice and the instructions given by store staff to keep you and the other customers safe.

“Stay at home – for now – protect the NHS, and follow the FACTS advice when you are out and about to help save lives.”

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: First Minister’s statement – 30 March 2021 – gov.scot

Guidance will be updated on Friday and Monday to take account of the changes confirmed today.

During the pre-election period the usual parliamentary protocol applies and draft regulations will be shared with the COVID-19 Committee.

Consultation with sectors still to reopen is ongoing, towards further decisions on easing to be taken ahead of the next review point on 26 April.

Vaccination

Vaccination programme in Scotland reaches 2 million people

Vaccination delivered to 44% of Scotland’s eligible population.

Scotland’s vaccination programme has delivered first doses of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to more than two million people  – 44% of the adult population.

The landmark was reached on Wednesday 17 March. 60 year old Ian Love from Dunipace was among those vaccinated on the day the milestone was reached. The engineering manager received his first dose at Forth Valley College’s Stirling campus, one of a number of community venues being used to deliver the vaccine locally in NHS Forth Valley.

The national vaccination programme continues to move through groups 6 and 7 on the priority list which includes those with particular underlying health conditions and unpaid carers. A self-referral online service has been launched to enable any eligible unpaid carers who have not received an invitation to register themselves.

As groups 6 and 7 progress, we have begun scheduling appointments for the next priority groups which are group 8 (age 55-59 years) and 9 (age 50-54 years) and vaccinations for these groups began at the start of this week.

Scotland vaccination
Vaccination delivered to 44% of Scotland’s eligible population.

Heath Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“More than two million people in Scotland have now received their first dose of the vaccine. That this has been achieved in little more than three months is down to the enormous efforts of our vaccination teams. I would like to thank everyone who is working tirelessly to make this a success, and also every individual who has taken up their offer of a vaccine.

“Scotland’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is now in the final stages of vaccinating the first nine priority groups. When you are offered the vaccine please take up the invitation. The vaccination programme is one of three key ways we are working to beat this virus, along with our expanded testing programme to identify cases and break chains of transmission and the important lockdown restrictions everyone in Scotland must follow. All these measures work to greatest effect when they work together.” 

Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties in Scotland Dr Miles Mack said:

“It is remarkable that a year after the first COVID-19 mortality in Scotland, effective vaccines have been developed, and are now being rapidly rolled out across the country. It is a testament to the hard working healthcare staff, military personnel and volunteers that we mark the milestone of 2 million first dose vaccinations, since the vaccine rollout programme began in December.

“We know that the vaccines are safe and effective. They are a vital tool in reducing the number of COVID-19 cases and in ensuring that people are protected against this deadly disease. But there is more work to be done.

Much of the adult population is yet to receive their first vaccine dose, and I would encourage people to take up the offer of a vaccine when they are called. I’d also ask the public to please bear with us while they are waiting their turn to be vaccinated. I know that vaccinators are working through the clinical priority list as quickly as they possibly can.”

Mr Love said:

“I am so pleased to have had my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. It is such a relief and it really is starting to feel like we can start to think about a return to normal life.

“I want to thank everyone at NHS Forth Valley – the whole procedure has been simple and the local staff were very reassuring and clearly explained the process.  I look forward to getting my second dose in around twelve weeks’ time.”

NHS Forth Valley Immunisation Team Coordinator Gillian Bruce said: 

“We are delighted to be marking the delivery of 2 million Covid-19 vaccinations here in Stirling. This achievement is testament to the hard work of local immunisation teams, GP Practice staff and volunteers across the country who are working closely with colleagues in local councils, Health and Social Care Partnerships and the military to deliver this large and complex vaccination programme.”

Lockdown Timetable

Lockdown Timetable for further easing update from 2 April

Lockdown Timetable the current “Stay at Home” rule will be replaced by guidance to “Stay Local” on 2 April.

The First Minister has set out a Lockdown Timetable for the re-opening of parts of society over the next two months.

Lockdown Timetable – Stay at Home regulations will be lifted on 2 April and replaced with guidance to Stay Local, with more services including hairdressers, garden centres and non-essential click and collect services able to open from 5 April.

More college students will also return to on-campus learning and outdoor contact sports will resume for 12-17 year olds on 5 April if progress on vaccination and suppression of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues.

The Scottish Government then hopes to lift all restrictions on journeys in mainland Scotland on 26 April. Discussions will be held with island communities already in lower levels on the possibility of having a faster return to more socialising and hospitality with restrictions on mainland travel to protect against importation of the virus.

Lockdown Timetable
Lockdown Timetable

Vaccination of all nine JCVI priority groups – more than half of the population, accounting for 99% of COVID-related fatalities – is expected to be completed by mid April, supplies allowing. The dates outlined are enabled by strong new evidence that suggests vaccines reduce the chances of transmitting the virus as well as reducing serious illness and death, even after a first dose.

Lockdown Timetable Further expected easing on 26 April includes:

  • all retail premises, libraries, museums and galleries, tourist accommodation would be able to open
  • the hospitality sector would be able to reopen outdoors for the service of alcohol, and potentially open indoors for non-alcohol service
  • up to four people from two households could be able to socialise indoors in a public place such as a café or restaurant
  • six people from up to three households could be able to meet outdoors and the limit on wedding and funeral attendance could be raised to 50 people
  • gyms and swimming pools would be open for individual exercise and non-essential childcare would be permitted
  • non-essential work in peoples’ homes and driving lessons could resume from this date

On 17 May, it is hoped that groups of four people from two households would be able to socialise indoors in a private home, and that cinemas, amusement arcades and small scale outdoor and indoor events could restart with limits on capacity. Further easing on this date would include outdoor contact sport for adults and indoor group exercise

The Nicola Sturgeon also indicated that in early June it is hoped that Scotland Lockdown Timetable could move to Level 1 and by end of June to level 0.

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 Strategic Framework Business Fund (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. The last four-weekly SFBF payment of up to £3,000 will be paid on 22 March, as scheduled. Targeted restart grants for businesses that are not in scope for the current SFBF support package may be considered if the Scottish Government receives further consequentials from the UK Government.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Vaccination is already having a significant impact on the number of deaths in Scotland, and research giving us more confidence in its effects against new variants and in helping prevent transmission. That gives us more confidence in setting possible dates for our next steps out of lockdown in addition to the significant changes set out last week to allow more socialisation, and get children back to school as soon as possible.

“It is not possible to provide specific dates or details for coming out of lockdown beyond 17 May – that will depend on what impact there is from the changes already made – however my hope and ambition is that from early June, all of Scotland will effectively be in level 1 of the levels system, allowing for a further easing of restrictions – and possibly moving to level 0 in late June.

“That is not the endpoint – we hope and expect that vaccination, better treatments, continued use of the test and protect system, and proportionate ongoing precautions such as good hand hygiene will allow us to keep COVID under much greater control.

This will allow us to enjoy many of the things that we took for granted before the pandemic– normal family gatherings where we can hug our loved ones, sporting events, gigs and nightclubs. I cannot set a date for that point yet, but I do believe that over the coming weeks as more and more adults are vaccinated it will be possible to set a firmer date by which many of these normal things will be possible, and I am very optimistic that this date will be over the summer.

“Thanks to the sacrifices we all made three months ago, and the success of the vaccination programme we are now in a much better and brighter position, with well-earned optimism as we look ahead to the summer.

We are getting the virus under control, but it is still dangerous, and to reach these dates it’s more important than ever now to stay within the rules – until 2 April stay at home, except for essential purposes; don’t meet people from other households indoors, and follow the FACTS advice when out and about.”

scotland pubs

Scotland Pubs and Cafes to reopen for outdoor service on 26 April

Scotland pubs and cafes, restaurants and bars will be able to serve people outdoors – in groups of up to 6 from 3 households – until 10pm from 26 April.

Alcohol will be permitted in Scotland Pubs, and there will be no requirement for food to be served.

There could be limited indoor opening of hospitality from 26 April too.

Scotland pubs

This will be limited initially to the service of food and non-alcoholic drinks until 8pm, and for groups of up to four people from no more than 2 households.

All remaining retail premises are expected to re-open on 26 April.

All tourist accommodation will be able to re-open, subject to any restrictions.

Libraries, museums and galleries will also reopen from 26 April.

Indoor gyms will also reopen for individual exercise on that date.

Monday 5 April will see the beginning of the phased re-opening of non essential retail.

Click and collect retail services will be permitted to reopen, along with homeware stores, and car showrooms and forecourts.

Garden centres will also be able to reopen on 5 April

Hairdresser and barber salons to reopen for appointments on 5 April.

Indoor meeting from 17 May

Up to four people from two household can socialise indoors in a private home or public space from 17 May.

Hospitality venues can open until 10:30 pm indoors (alcohol permitted, 2-hour dwell time) and 10:00 pm outdoors (alcohol permitted)

Outdoor adult contact sport and indoor group exercise can restart.

Cinemas, amusement arcades, and bingo halls can open.

Small-scale outdoor and indoor events can resume subject to capacity constraints.

Peterhead Community

Peterhead Community Test Centre 1 week

Peterhead Community Test Centre – After a successful first week

Author: Morven Jane

I wanted to share some information about the site to make people feel more comfortable about visiting.

Community testing allows for early identification of outbreaks and reassures you that you can safely go about your essential duties.

If you are an employer, encouraging your staff to be tested can give you peace of mind, at no cost to your business.

If you are already being offered testing, e.g. teachers, but are apprehensive, we will guide you through the process and hopefully give you the confidence to test at home in the future.

Our Peterhead Community Test Centre is based in the Rescue Hall on Prince Street and is open 8.00AM7.30PM every day, including weekends, until at least late May.

Anyone who lives/works/studies/shops in Peterhead and the surrounding area can come along up to twice a week for a self administered lateral flow test, which obtains results in less than an hour.

Being tested counts as essential travel, but we encourage you to visit as part of another essential journey, such as before a grocery shop or at school drop off.

All ages are welcome, but those aged 12-17 should have consent from a guardian and those under 12 must have a guardian with them to assist with the swabbing process.

If you need additional support, you can come along with other members of your household support bubble, such as a carer or translator (although we do have translation facilities available).

Peterhead Community Test Centre

Please note that staff cannot administer any swab test. To be eligible for testing you must not have any coronavirus symptoms (new persistent cough, fever, loss of change in taste or smell), have had a coronavirus vaccine in the last 3 days, or have tested positive for Covid in the last 90 days.

In addition, avoid eating or drinking anything in the half hour before you carry out the test.

On arrival we will take your name and a contact telephone number (only used if your test is positive, and destroyed at the end of each day).

Scanning a QR code opens the website where you will register your test – staff are on hand to assist with this if needed and tablets are available for those without a smartphone.

The form is quite long, but there’s no rush – you will be asked to stand on one of the socially distanced crosses while you complete it.

After registration, you will be taken to one of three testing booths where an operative will guide you through the swabbing process. Once seated, you may remove your mask and blow your nose.

Open the swab packet AT THE HANDLE END, just enough to pull the swab out.

Swipe the (tiny – see photo!) swab over each tonsil 4 times, taking care not to let the swab touch anything else (hands, table, tongue, teeth, etc.) then rotate the same swab inside one nostril 10 times (only going up until you feel resistance).

Insert the swab (swab end first) into the tube provided, then put your mask back on and wipe down your booth. You will leave the test centre following the one way system, where someone will provide you with an information leaflet. Your test result will be registered after 30 minutes and a text/email automatically sent to you.

Only if you do not have easy access to either of these may you wait in the centre to receive your result.In the unlikely event your result is positive, staff at the centre will contact you to arrange for PCR tests to be sent for all members of your household.

You and all in your household (including in extended household) MUST go home immediately and self isolate. If your PCR tests are negative, you may end your self isolation. A major misconception about community testing is that it is designed to increase the number of positive cases.

Undoubtedly some asymptomatic positive cases will be detected that would not have otherwise, however detecting these prevents them from spreading it to others, causing more positive cases in the following weeks. In addition, by testing asymptomatic individuals, the percentage of positive tests will likely decrease as most at the site will receive a negative result.

I hope this has reassured people who are apprehensive about being tested and highlighted the importance of community testing.

We hope to see you soon!

Peterhead Community Test Centre and Morven Jane

Peterhead_line

Peterhead.Live on Facebook or Twitter to get more actual information

New vaccination campaign

New vaccination campaign for aged between 16 and 64.

New vaccination campaign Self-registration service aged 16 and older.

Unpaid carers who have not already been identified through social security data or GP systems will be able to register themselves for a coronavirus (COVID-19) New vaccination appointment from next week.

The new online service, which opens on Monday 15 March, is for unpaid carers aged between 16 and 64 who provide face-to-face care for a family member or friend.

Carers who receive relevant benefits (Carer’s Allowance, Young Carer Grant or Child Winter Heating Payment) will be in our system and will receive a letter with details of their appointment. But all unpaid carers are being encouraged to self-register – when they do, they will be advised if they are already scheduled for an appointment so there is no duplication.

A Scottish Government marketing campaign will be launched next week to encourage all unpaid carers who are eligible for a vaccine to get one. The campaign will be supported by additional communications from local carer services and other thirdsector organisations to carers on their mailing lists.

New vaccination campaign
The new service is open to anyone aged 16 to 64 who provides face-to-face care – unpaid

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“The support provided by unpaid carers is hugely valuable.  I know they are under greater pressure than usual as a result of the pandemic, and we owe them our sincere thanks for the important work they do.

“Our vaccination programme follows the priority list set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) with unpaid carers included within Group 6.

“We have already written to many unpaid carers identified through Social Security data and GPs and we are launching a system which will ensure every carer who is eligible for an appointment can register for one.

“It is crucial that all unpaid carers are offered a vaccination so they are protected whilst they care for others.

“We will be launching an extensive marketing campaign to make sure all unpaid carers know about this opportunity and understand how to book an appointment. All those who have access to the internet are encouraged to use the online service but those who don’t can, of course, call the Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013.

“We continue to urge all those eligible to take up the offer of a vaccination. The vaccination programme is one of three key ways we are working to beat this virus, along with our expanded testing programme to identify cases and break chains of transmission and the important lockdown restrictions everyone in Scotland must follow. All these measures work to greatest effect when they work together.” 

On behalf of the National Carer Organisations, Minority Ethnic Carers of People Project (MECOPP) Chief Executive Margaret Chiwanza said:

“Over the last year, carers have continued to provide support to family and friends in unprecedented circumstances. Their inclusion as a priority group for the vaccination recognises the overwhelming contribution they have made and continue to make.

“Many of Scotland’s carers will be in touch with a local carer centre but there will be many others who are not in contact with support services. It is essential that we reach out to these carers. The self-registration system will provide a single point of contact making it simpler for carers to make an appointment and receive a vaccination. 

“It is vital that all of Scotland’s carers – young carers aged 16plus, adult and older carers and those from Minority Ethnic backgrounds – are supported to protect and maintain their own health and well-being and that of the people they care for.

“We commend government for taking this very positive step.”

The new vaccination service is open to anyone aged 16 to 64 who provides face-to-face care – unpaid – for a family member or friend who is affected by a disability, physical or mental ill-health, developmental condition or substance misuse.

Self-registration online service nhsinform.scot/carersregister  – will be open to unpaid carers from Monday 15 March

Covid-19 National New Vaccination Helpline0800 030 8013

Scotland lockdown

COVID-19 new restrictions changes

COVID-19 restrictions changes, more people will be able to socialise outdoors

More people will be able to socialise outdoors following good progress in suppressing Coronavirus – COVID-19, the First Minister has announced.

COVID-19

COVID-19 restrictions changes up to four adults from two households will be able to meet locally in any outdoor space, including in private gardens, for social and recreational purposes as well as exercise from Friday 12 March.

covid 19
COVID-19 restrictions changes, more people will be able to socialise outdoors

People should only go indoors if it is essential in order to reach a back garden, or to go to the toilet.

Outdoor non-contact sports and group exercise will also resume for adults in groups of up to to 15 people from this date.

Young people aged 12 to 17 will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to four people from four different households, participate in outdoor non-contact sports, and other organised activities in groups of up to 15 and travel across local authority boundaries to participate in such activities.

Should progress suppressing the virus continue, the Scottish Government intends to reopen places of worship with attendance limits increased from 20 to 50 where there is space for social distancing on Friday 26 March.

A final decision will be taken on Tuesday 23 March ahead of Passover, Easter, Ramadan and Vaisakhi.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“In recent weeks, we have seen a significant fall in new cases, deaths and hospital admissions, and the vaccination programme is progressing beyond our initial expectations.

All of this is excellent news, and provides strong grounds for hope, but that hope must also be balanced by caution.

“The changes announced today, while modest, are important, and are designed to help people’s health and well-being by enabling group exercise and allowing more social interaction.

They will also let children see more of their friends, and exercise and play more normally.

“With continued progress, we believe the reopening of places of worship can be achieved relatively safely, and will hopefully enable more people to draw strength, comfort and inspiration from acts of collective worship.

“I expect that further, more substantial changes will be possible in the weeks ahead, and I will set out as much detail as I can about that in Parliament next week.

If the data allows us to relax more restrictions more quickly than we have previously indicated, we will not hesitate to do so.

“We all have a part to play in keeping case numbers down while the vaccinators do their work, children get back to school and we all take tentative but firm steps back to life as we once knew it, so please continue to stay within the rules and follow the FACTS advice.”

Updated guidance and regulations will be published on Friday 12 March to reflect these changes.

The Scottish Government’s priority is to suppress the virus to the lowest possible level and keep it there, while we strive to return to a more normal life for as many people as possible. There are six main tools for achieving this:

  • the quickest practical roll-out of the vaccination programme
  • the most effective use of Test and Protect
  • applying proportionate protective measures (rules and guidance) to suppress transmission of the virus
  • effective measures to manage the risk of importation of the virus
  • supporting individuals, businesses and organisations to adhere to protective measures
  • providing care and support to mitigate the harms of the crisis

The six conditions for safe easing set out by the World Health Organisation are:

  • COVID-19 transmission is under control
  • sufficient health systems and public health capabilities are in place
  • outbreak risks are minimised in vulnerable settings
  • workplace preventative measures are established
  • risk of imported cases are managed
  • communities are fully engaged

Scottish government’s the 4 phases plan.

Scottish government

What are the four phases of the Scottish government’s plan?

Phase 1 – (yesterday) early learning and childcare and schools open for Primary 1-3 pupils and senior phase pupils for essential practical work. Limited increase in the provision for vulnerable children.

Care homes opening to facilitate meaningful contact between relatives/ friends and residents.

Phase 2 – (unlikely before 15 March) – More school reopening – Non-contact outdoor group sports for 12-17 year olds. Socialising rules eased, to allow outdoor meetings of 4 people from 2 households.

Phase 3 – (at least three weeks later – possibly 5 April) Stay-at-Home requirement removed.

Third and final phase of schools reopening if required. Places of worship can open on a restricted numbers basis.

Essential retailers list expanded slightly and click-and-collect resumes for non-essential retail.

Phase 4 – possibly 26 April) Limited other easing within Level 4, including permitting non-essential work in people’s homes. Return to variable Levels approach.

This will enable the graduated opening up of economic and social activity.

Numbers who can meet outdoors set to be increased next month

The first minister emphasises how she hopes more pupils will return to school in Scotland from 15 March.

This will involve getting the remainder of primary school pupils and more senior phase secondary pupils back into the classroom for at least part of their learning.

Ms Sturgeon adds that she also hopes to restart outdoors non contact group sports for 12-17 year olds in this phase.

And it is hoped the limit on outdoor mixing between households will be increased from four people from a maximum of two households.

SUMMARY:

The reopening of Scotland‘s economy – including shops, bars, restaurants, gyms and hairdressers – is expected to start in the last week of April, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Scotland's economy

FM said there would be a “progressive easing” of restrictions before then, with four people from two households allowed to meet outdoors from 15 March.

All primary and more secondary school pupils could return from that date.

It is hoped to lift the stay at home restriction on 5 April.

Ms Sturgeon said it would be necessary to “rely very heavily” on restrictions to suppress the virus for “a bit longer”.

Quarantine hotels

Quarantine hotels and managed Isolation

Quarantine hotels to come in to force for international travellers arriving in Scotland from Monday 15 February

All arrivals to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area must book and pay for managed isolation in quarantine hotels to help protect against the importation of Coronavirus (COVID-19) from 15 February.

Six hotels close to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports with a combined capacity of 1,300 rooms will be used to implement the quarantine at a cost of £1,750 per individual traveller. Final costs for those not travelling alone are currently being worked through, as well as the details for a Managed Isolation Welfare Fund which will be launched for those who cannot afford the charge.

All arrivals must quarantine for at least ten days and will be tested twice for the virus – once on day two and once on day eight after arrival.

Existing travel exemptions will be strengthened, including limiting overseas training for elite sportspeople to athletes and coaches preparing for the Olympics and Paralympics.

A small number of arrivals will not be required to isolate, such as those involved in essential supply chains for goods coming into Scotland.

The Scottish Government will continue to engage with airports and discussions to secure a four nations approach to contracting the security, transport and accommodation services required are already underway.

As regulations to support the introduction of managed isolation are developed a range of offences and penalties to help ensure compliance will be considered.

It is still the case that all non-essential international travel is not permitted.

In a statement to Parliament the Transport Secretary urged the UK Government to match the comprehensive approach being taken by the Scottish Government.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said

To manage the risk of importing new variants, and to give vaccine deployment the best chance of bringing us closer to normality here in Scotland, we have to place further limits on international travel.

The UK Government has only committed to adopting this for travellers returning from “red list” countries. However, we know that is not sufficient and we will go further.

The clinical advice is clear that a comprehensive system of managed quarantine is essential to minimise the impact of new COVID-19 variants.

seafood sector

New Help for Seafood Sector

New package for hard-hit seafood sector businesses.

A new £7.75 million funding package will offer support to fishermen, seafood businesses and ports and harbours threatened by the ongoing effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU Exit.

The package includes:

  • £6.45 million for the Seafood Producers Resilience Fund which will provide support to eligible shellfish catchers and producers, in addition to trout farmers who have faced issues exporting to the EU and have lost access to domestic food markets as a result of COVID-19
  • £1 million to be made available to support the investment plans of ports and harbours faced with a loss of income through landing fees
  • up to £300,000 to assist the welfare and emergency support activities of the Fishermen’s Mission in recognition of the hardship facing people working in the sector at this time

Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“In the absence of any further clarity on resilience funding from the UK Government we are stepping in to support the industry and coastal communities across Scotland and ensuring we meet the emergency needs of crews by providing welfare support through the Fishermen’s Mission.

In addition to this funding, last week we also supported calls for a new dedicated task force, and announced funding for two new experts to help businesses navigate the new processes and requirements.

Seafood sector “Both shellfish and trout businesses who have faced losses due to COVID-19 hospitality closures across Europe are now losing products or facing additional costs due to border disruption and new non-tariff barriers. It’s not just exporting, we know this has serious knock-on effects that ripples right through the supply chain from boats struggling to land at ports to not being able to sell their catch.

“The fund for shellfish and trout businesses will help the sector survive the ongoing loss of domestic sales due to COVID-19 and the current immediate challenges of Brexit, giving them some breathing space and allowing businesses to make the changes they need to adapt to the new, tougher, trading realities.”

Full details of the Seafood Producers Resilience Fund will be available on the Marine Scotland section of the Scottish Government website from Friday 5th February.

Funding for new seafood experts to help businesses navigate paperwork was announced by the Rural Economy Secretary last week.

The Scottish Government’s Communities Recovery Fund for community groups, charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations impacted by COVID-19 and suffering from hardship closes to applications on Friday 12th February.

The UK Government announced a compensation scheme on Tuesday 19th January but has still to set out eligibility detail.

The Scottish seafood industry is highly reliant on exports, particularly to the EU. In 2019, seafood accounted for 57% of Scotland’s overall food exports and had a value of approximately £1.02 billion.

The EU is Scotland’s most significant overseas export market for seafood products, accounting for around three-quarters (76%) of Scottish seafood sector exports in 2019, and worth £777m. Scotland is a net exporter of seafood to the EU, with a trade surplus of £615m in 2019.