21 January 2021- Support for larger self-catering properties and B&Bs
Details of support for larger self-catering properties and B&Bs paying council tax have been confirmed by Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing.
The £7 million Large Self-Catering Grant and the Exclusive Use Grant was announced as part of the £104 million tourism and hospitality package in December. Eligible self–catering businesses will be able to apply for one off grant support of £2,000. Eligible exclusive use premises will be able to apply for £10,000 in grant support.
13 January 2021- Further restrictions announced
The Scottish Government has announced that this Saturday, 16 January 2021, new restrictions will be implemented which will impact businesses and households across mainland Scotland.
These are troubling times, and as we hold out for the light of the vaccine at the end of the tunnel, the most important thing we can do is heed the advice of health officials. Please follow all governmental and official guidelines to help make sure you, your staff and community remains safe.
11 January 2021- Grant support top-up announced
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has announced top-ups to the Strategic Business Framework Fund available to hospitality, retail and leisure businesses in Scotland that have been required to close as a result of the level 4 restrictions.
Eligible businesses are entitled to a one-off grant in addition to monies already received through the Fund.
08 January 2021- Covid funding
Following the announcement of up to £9,000 of funding for businesses forced to close in the last round of Covid-19 restrictions by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, there was some confusion as this does not apply to businesses in Scotland. The package of funding announced by Scottish Government in December, including for Wedding venues, self-catering, B&B and other sectors is still awaiting detail on how to apply and eligibility. We will update as soon as possible. In the meantime temporary closure grants and restriction grants are still available and more details below and here.
If your business is required to close by law you could be entitled to a temporary closure grant every four weeks, of one of the following:
- £2,000 if your business premises has a rateables value of up to and including £51,000
- £3,000 if your business premises has a rateable value of £51,001 or above
From 1 January 2021 there will no longer be an upper limit of £15,000 for any eligible business operating multiple premises.
If your business is specifically required to modify its operations, as specified by the schedules of The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 or specified in the levels list on the eligibility page, you may be entitled to a Business Restrictions grant every four weeks, of one of the following:
- £1, 400 if your business premises has a rateable value of up to and including £51,000
- £2,100 if your business premises has a rateable value of £51,001 or above
From 1 January 2021 there will no longer be an upper limit of £10,500 for any eligible business operating multiple premises.
05 January 2021- Outdoor Access during January Lockdown
On Monday 04 January 2021, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a new national lockdown for all of mainland Scotland to begin on Tuesday 05 January. These new measures are expected to apply until at least the end of January. Island communities will remain in Level 3 of the Scottish Governments 4-level tiered system.
Outdoor recreation is still permitted however there are now restrictions on travel and on the numbers of people allowed to meet. Only two people aged 12 or over from two households are allowed to meet outdoors (children aged under 11 are exempt). Additionally, cross border travel is not permitted, except for essential purposes.
The Scottish Government guidance suggests a list of examples of reasonable excuses to go out, including:
- local outdoor recreation, sport or exercise, walking, cycling, golf, or running that starts and finishes at the same place (which can be up to 5 miles from the boundary of your local authority area) as long as you abide by the rules on meeting other households.
For further information please see our dedicated Access page.
Any member who would like further information on how shoots can manage surplus birds now that the shooting season has effectively ended, please contact our Moorland Director Tim Baynes - firstname.lastname@example.org
22 December 2020 - £104 million tourism and hospitality funding
Scottish Government has announced £104 million support package for the tourism and hospitality sector in the New Year.
The funding is part of the £185 million package already announced and is part of the short term response to the Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce recommendations. Further work will be urgently undertaken to establish what additional support is needed in light of the announcement to move mainland Scotland into Level 4 and the islands to Level 3 from Boxing day.
Areas set to benefit from this round include:
- £19.2 million to provide one-off grants for hospitality businesses
- £50.8 million for businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000 that have not received support from the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund or Hotel Support Programme and some additional support to smaller businesses impacted by restrictions
- £11.8 million for international inbound, coach tourism and domestic tour operators
- £7 million for self-catering
- £5 million for visitor attractions
- £2.5 million for outdoor tourism
- £2.3 million for hostels
- £2 million for ski centres
- £1.5 million for travelling show people ineligible for other support
- £1.2 million for Destination Management Organisations
- £1 million for B&Bs and guest houses excluded from the latest Non Domestic Rates scheme
Details and opening dates for all funding pots will be announced in due course.
21 December 2020 - Change to Christmas Covid Restrictions
Announcements were made at the weekend by both the UK & Scottish Governments around the change of Covid-19 restrictions for the Christmas Period. The planned easing of restrictions from 23 to 27 December have now been reduced to Christmas day itself, this includes a maximum of 8 people from 3 households mixing, however the advice is to think carefully about whether this is necessary and the potential implications of it.
At 00.01am on 26 December all of the Scottish mainland will go into Level 4 restrictions for 3 weeks. This follows the guidance published by the Scottish Government last month. Full details of the Level 4 guidance can be found here. Some of the key points are there should be no mixing indoors, and outdoors there should be a maximum of 6 people from 2 households. All tourism and hospitality, with the exception of takeaway services, must close. There should be no travel outwith your local authority area unless you have good reason to do so eg for work or health reasons. Outdoor non-contact sports can continue, however they are subject to the rules on socialising and only with a maximum of 6 people from 2 households.
Business support packages remain in place, please visit your local authority website for details. Further updates will be provided as and when they are available.
18 December 2020 - Reminder Of Covid Rules
During the Christmas period you will be aware there is a slight relaxation on the rules of socialising within homes, which allow up to three families to create a “bubble” for a five day period. However it should be borne in mind that this does not extend to business settings and businesses must continue to follow the guidance.
17 December 2020 - Furlough Scheme Extended
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced an extension to the Job Retention Scheme by one month to the end of April.
The government will continue to pay up to 80% of the salary of employees for hours not worked until the end of April, with a cap of £2,500 a month.
Employers will only be required to pay the wages, National Insurance (NI) contributions and pensions for hours worked, as well as NI contributions and pensions for hours not worked.
15 December 2020 - Updated Coronavirus (COVID-19): Local Protection Levels
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that three Local Authority areas will move from Level 2 to Level 3 Protection Levels from 6pm on Friday 18 December.
All other Local Authorities will remain at their previous levels.
09 December 2020 - New £185 million package for business
Businesses across Scotland will benefit from a new £185 million package of targeted coronavirus (COVID-19) support.
The announcement follows discussions with business groups and sees a wide range of sectors benefiting, from taxi drivers and arts venues to travel agents and hospitality.
In addition, there will be additional one-off payments to hospitality businesses in January to help them deal with the traditional post-Christmas dip in demand. These will be of £2,000 or £3,000, depending on rateable value.
08 December 2020 - Updated Coronavirus (COVID-19): Local Protection Levels
The First Minister has announced that the 11 local authorities currently in Level 4 of Covid protection will drop down to Level three from 11 December.
Overall, half of all Scotland’s local authorities will move down a level this coming Friday.
04 December 2020 - Festive guidelines update
What are the travel rules over Christmas?
Travel restrictions will be relaxed from 23 – 27 December (inclusive) to allow people to travel between local authority areas and the four nations of the UK to join their bubble.
If using public transport you should make a plan in advance and book ahead where possible. You must also wear a face covering during travel on public transport, unless exempt.
Many services have to be pre-booked. You should book travel as soon as possible. This will ensure you get a seat and give travel operators a good indication of likely demand. Don’t leave it until the last minute.
Those travelling to or from the Scottish Islands should do so within the 5 day period, 23 – 27 December.
While travelling you should minimise stop-offs during journeys except where necessary for safety and respite, and follow the Scottish Government’s guidance on travelling safely.
If you travel to form a bubble, once you arrive you must follow the rules about travel that apply in that local authority area. In a Level 3 or 4 area in Scotland, for example, once you have arrived and formed your bubble you must avoid non-essential travel outside the local authority area in which you are staying. And in an area of Scotland at Level 0, 1, or 2 you must avoid unnecessary travel into any Level 3 or 4 area.
What if there are travel delays or cancellations meaning I cannot return home on 27 December?
You must leave the gathering by the end of the 27 December. In some cases where there is an overnight journey, for example from Shetland to the mainland, you should start that journey on 27 December. The only exception to this is where you have a reasonable excuse for example you are delayed as a result of travel disruption or ill-health, including self-isolating following a positive covid test or as a contact of someone who has had a positive test.
You can travel to and from Northern Ireland on 22 December 2020 in order to arrive at a gathering on 23 December 2020.
Can my bubble stay in self-catered accommodation?
We recognise that people will not always have a house big enough to accommodate a Christmas bubble. The law therefore lets a bubble meet in self-catered accommodation (or 2nd home) for a Christmas gathering, but only in the local authority area in which you or a member of your bubble lives. As we need to prevent the risk of spreading the virus, a Christmas gathering is not allowed in an area outside the local authority area in which one of the participants lives.
Operators should check that at least one household participating is from within the local authority area. Use this postcode tool to check the local authority area for a postcode.
A maximum of 8 people from up to 3 households which have formed a bubble can stay in self-catering accommodation over the period 23 to 27 December. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people in the bubble. If you are staying with another household you should not have more than one household (or extended household) staying in each bedroom.
Can my bubble stay in tourist accommodation, such as hotels or B&Bs?
The bubble should not meet or stay in hotel or B&B accommodation during the Christmas period. However, individual members or an individual household which is part of a bubble may use hotel or B & B accommodation nearby.
If I have formed a bubble can we go to hospitality?
Those who have formed a bubble should only socialise in a hospitality, leisure or entertainment venue in your own household (or extended household) for the duration of the festive period.
Socialising and opening hours for pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes are as per the local authority protection levels that the venue is situated in.
More details are available on the Scottish Government website.
03 December 2020 - Christmas eviction ban introduced
Enforcement of evictions from rented properties will be halted in Scotland for a six week period until mid-January.
The move will give extra protection to tenants during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It will reduce the burden on local authorities, who have a duty to rehouse people made homeless through evictions, and will also make it easier for people to self-isolate if they choose to form extended bubbles during the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions over Christmas.
24 November 2020 - Changes to COVID-19 protection levels and business support *UPDATED*
Please note: A previous version of this update indicated that Midlothian would be moving from Covid protection level 3 to level 2. The Scottish Government has since changed their decision on this, and Midlothian will currently remain within level 3.
The First Minister has announced the results of the latest review of COVID-19 protection levels in Scotland. The majority of local authorities will remain at their current level and you can check which level applies by using the Scottish Government postcode checker.
East Lothian will move from level 3 to level 2 from next Tuesday 24 November.
Eleven council areas will move into level 4 restrictions from 6pm on Friday 20 November through to 11 December. These are: the City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.
10 November 2020 - Changes to COVID-19 protection levels
Three council areas are to move up a protection level as cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to rise in their areas.
Fife, Perth & Kinross and Angus local authority areas will move from Level 2 - where they have been since the new levels system was announced - to Level 3 with the change coming into effect from 6am on Friday 13 November.
5 November 2020 - Extension of furlough scheme
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the extension of the furlough scheme until the End of March 2021. This will revert to the higher rate of 80% contribution from government (up to a maximum of £2,500)as per the initial version of the scheme. This will also have the flexibility of having staff work part time for roles which are not made temporarily redundant.
23 October 2020 - The Scottish Government’s new five-level framework
During Friday 23 October's media briefing the First Minister outlined the Scottish Government’s new five-level framework which will allow for a refreshed strategic approach to suppressing Coronavirus outbreaks across Scotland.
The framework indicates different levels of protection that might be needed based on different levels of transmission for the virus. It will allow for rapid but proportionate responses on both a local and national basis using a transparent range of measures and options.
22 October 2020 - Job Support Scheme
The First Minister has announced that the temporary restrictions on hospitality which were due to end on 26 October have been extended to 6am on Monday 2 November.
On 22 October 2020, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined changes to the Job Support Scheme, in particular the different options for businesses which are forced to close and those which can stay open.
21 October 2020 - Covid hospitality restrictions extended
The First Minister has announced that the temporary restrictions on hospitality which were due to end on 26 October have been extended to 6am on Monday 2 November.
The First Minister said the extension allows for a transition to the new ‘Level System’ from 2 November that can be applied nationally or regionally, depending on the level of infection.
15 October 2020 - Covid Support Funds - UPDATE
Details on eligibility criteria a £40 million support fund for businesses affected by the most recent restrictions on hospitality businesses have been published.
7 October 2020 - New short-term restrictions
The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has updated the Scottish Parliament on new short-term restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19, which are to be introduced in Scotland at 6pm on Friday 9 October until Sunday 26 Oct. These new restrictions will affect the whole of Scotland and will have a significant impact on the tourism and hospitality sector.
24 September 2020 - New Job Support Scheme and VAT rate cut
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new Job Support Scheme, starting in November 2020. The Job Support Scheme will provide wage support to allow employers to bring their staff back for shorter hours. Employees must work a third of their normal hours and employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work. However, they will not need to pay for the hours not worked, the UK Government and the employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary. All SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises) will be eligible for the new scheme but larger businesses can only apply if they can demonstrate turnover has fallen though the Covid crisis. The scheme will run for six months starting in November and firms can apply to both the Job Support Scheme and claim the job retention bonus.
22 September 2020 - New restrictions to combat the rise in Covid-19
On Tuesday 22 September, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, unveiled a range of new restrictions to combat the rise in Covid-19 infections.