Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Scotland

benefits

Benefits in new financial year introduces changes from 6 April.

Benefits in New Financial year for Pensions, Universal Credit and other benefit pay rates changes in place from 6 April 2021.

Attendance Allowance

Higher rate: £89.60 (from £89.15)

Lower rate: £60.00 (from £59.70)

Carer’s Allowance

April 2021 rate: £67.60 (from £67.25)

Disability Living Allowance

Care Component

Highest: £89.60 (from £89.15)

Middle: £60.00 (from £59.70)

Lowest: £23.70 (from £23.60)

Mobility component

Higher: £62.55 (from £62.25)

Lower: £23.70 (from £23.60)

Employment and Support Allowance

Under 25: £59.20 (from £58.90)

25 or over: £74.70 (from £74.35)

Housing Benefit

Under 25: £59.20 (from £58.90)

25 or over: £74.70 (from £74.35)

Entitled to main phase ESA: £74.70 (from £74.35)

Incapacity Benefit (long-term)

April 2021 rate: £114.70 (from £114.15)

Income Support

Under 25: £59.20 (from £58.90)

25 or over: £74.70 from (£74.35)

Jobseeker’s Allowance (contributions based)

Under 25: £59.20 (from £58.90)

25 or over: £74.70 (from £74.35)

Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based)

Under 25: £59.20 (from £58.90)

25 or over: £74.70 (from £74.35)

Maternity/Paternity/Shared Parental Pay

Standard rate: £151.97 (from £151.20)

Pension Credit

Single: £177.10 (from £173.75)

Couple: £270.30 (from £265.20)

Personal Independence Payment

Daily Living Component

Enhanced: £89.60 (from £89.15)

Standard: £60.00 (from £59.70)

Mobility Component

Enhanced: £62.55 (from £62.25)

Standard: £23.70 (from £23.60)

benefits
Benefits and Pension

State Pension

Full New State Pension: £179.60 (from £175.20)

Basic Old State Pension (Category A or B): £137.60 (from £134.25)

Widow’s Pension

Standard rate: £122.55 (from £121.95)

Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay

Standard rate: £151.97 (from £151.20)

Statutory Sick Pay

Standard rate: £96.35 (from £95.85)

Universal Credit from April to September (monthly rates shown)

Standard allowance

Single

Single under 25: £344.00 (from £342.72)

Single 25 or over: £411.51 (from £409.89)

Couple

Joint claimants both under 25: £490.60 (from £488.59)

Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over: £596.58 (from £594.04)

Child Elements

First child (born prior to 6 April 2017): £282.50 (from £281.25)

First child (born on or after 6 April 2017) or second child and subsequent child (where an exception or transitional provision applies): £237.08 (from £235.83)

Disabled Child Additions

Lower rate addition: £128.89 (from £128.25)

Higher rate addition: £402.41 (from £400.29)

Limited Capability for Work

Limited capability for work amount: £128.89 (from £128.25)

Limited capability for work and work-related activity amount: £343.63 (from £341.92)

Carer

Carer amount: £163.73 (from £162.92)

Universal Credit from October to March 2022 (monthly rates shown)

Standard allowance

Single

Single under 25: £257.33

Single 25 or over: £324.84

Couple

Joint claimants both under 25: £403.93

Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over: £509.91

For the more information about, benefit increases, visit the www.gov.uk website here.

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.

BBC Scotland topical TV discussion programme is touring the country virtually, Wednesday 31 March.

BBC Scotland to give the people of Scotland the opportunity to have their say about the issues that matter most to you.

Scotland BBC

Debate Night are inviting people in Aberdeenshire to apply now for episode on Wednesday 31 March.

Members of the general public in Aberdeenshire are invited to apply to join live audience via Zoom and have your say in the evening’s programme. Maybe you are a parent, frontline worker, run a business, a student, have been self-isolating or your work has been affected by Coronavirus; whatever your situation, we want you to apply and be part of the discussion.

As a Debate Night audience member, it is YOUR questions which lead the discussion and the stories, experiences and opinions you share with us that matter most. It is the only TV programme of its kind in the country to allow you the chance to put your questions to Scotland’s key decision-makers and public figures each week.

Scotland

HOW TO TAKE PART: www.bbc.co.uk/debatenight click ‘Join the Audience’ and fill out an application form.  

Previous episodes are available to watch via BBC iPlayer: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000htfx

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.

St Olafs Well

St Olafs Well the stay in sand dunes at Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire

St Olafs Well, a natural spring, now enclosed within a rectangular concrete wall, 2.5m by 2.0m, a little mark where it is.

St Olafs Well

On the Buchan coast of Aberdeenshire, Cruden Bay stay to the North of the Bay of Cruden near the mouth of the Water of Cruden, 7 miles (11 km) south of Peterhead.

This is said to be the site of a battle where King Malcolm II of Scotland defeated the Danes in 1012, giving rise to the name – ‘Croju Dane’ meaning slaughter of the Danes.

St Olafs Well

Malcolm buried the dead of his opponents with honour and built a chapel to mark the spot, dedicated to St. Olaf (Olaus).

St Olafs Well is an ancient site of pilgrimage amongst the sand dunes at Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire.

St Olafs Well
Cruden Bay Beach

The nearby beach was the site of a great battle between the Viking army of Prince Canute and the Scots army under King Malcolm the Second of Scotland.

Peterhead_line
St Olafs Well the stay in sand dunes at Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire

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.