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Scotland has updated its guidance on the sectors and activities that can resume. The reopening of the tourism sector has been conditionally brought forward and the country is now in the third phase of its plan. 

Following the changes, overnight stays in self-catering accommodation and second homes which do not have shared facilities are now permitted. Households can also travel more than five miles as the advice on staying local has been relaxed.  

The Scottish Parliament has reviewed the social distancing requirements. Whilst two metres remains the default position, there are some exceptions and scenarios where one metre may be used, provided other risk mitigation measures are followed. Outdoor hospitality, indoor hospitality and retail are listed as eligible exemptions that can use the one metre requirement. More information on the additional risk mitigation measures which should be followed can be found here.

 

BM Scotland COVID Update 18 November

Scotland has announced that from the 20th November 2020 eleven areas will be moving into the most restrictive COVID prevention measures known as tier 4. This includes the following areas:

East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian.

The restrictions include (but are not limited to):

  • Meeting others indoors (socialising): You should not meet people in your home or theirs. You can meet another household indoors in a public place Max of 6, from 2 separate households although it should be noted most of these will be closed.
  • Meeting other outdoors (socialising): Meet other households outdoors, in a private garden, park etc, max of 6 from 2 households.
  • Hospitality: Restaurants, cafes, pubs will be closed. Takeaways can operate as normal. Hotels can still serve food to qualifying guests until 22:00
  • Holiday accommodation: Must shut to tourism but can stay open to cater for specific groups such as those that need it for work.
  • Travel and transport: No use of public transport except for essential purposes, Essential travel only to or from a level 4 local authority, Avoid car sharing with people not in your household.
  • Shopping: All shops must close apart from essential retail however click and collect and outdoor retail are still permitted.
  • Stadia and events: Stadia must close to spectators and no live events permitted.
  • Sports and exercise: Outdoor gyms remain open, outdoor non-contact sports are permitted. Indoor sports facilities must close. The RYA have a useful table looking specifically at boating found here.
  •  Leisure and entertainment: All leisure and entertainment premises must close although film and TV production can continue to take place.
  • Visitor attractions: All indoor attractions must close. Outdoor attractions, such as parks, gardens and outdoor areas of zoos can remain open.
  • Offices, call centres and other workplaces: People advised to work from home wherever practical.

The Tier 4 measures are currently forecast to run for three weeks from 6pm on the 20/11/2020.

For a full list of restrictions for all tiers and to check what tier your area is in please go to the Scottish government site found here

BM Scotland Coronavirus Update - 13th October

On the 13th October the Scottish government opened the Self Isolation Support Grant for low income workers who are asked to self-isolate and would lose income if they needed to isolate. The £500 grant will help those who have been asked by Test and Protect to isolate, following testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. Full details can be found here

BM Scotland Coronavirus update - 7th October

Latest Coronavirus Restrictions in Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced the latest restrictions to be imposed in the fight against COVID-19.  Read the announcement here.

New restrictions will be imposed for hospitality (food and drink premises) from today - for 16 days - to Sunday 25 October, with restrictions on opening hours and selling alcohol across Scotland.  To address increasing concerns in a number of Health Board areas in the Central Belt, greater restrictions will be imposed – in these areas, licenced premises should close (with exceptions noted in the guidance).

The Health Board areas are:  Greater Glasgow and Clyde;  Lanarkshire;  Ayrshire and Arran;  Lothian;  Forth Valley.

Outdoor live events will not be possible in these areas with restrictions on some sports, exercise and leisure also being imposed.

Ms Sturgeon announced that there will be a £40m package of support to help businesses affected by these restrictions and that discussions with the industry sectors will continue in the coming days to ensure support is delivered in the most appropriate ways.

Ms Sturgeon also noted that the Government would strengthen measures to Prepare, Protect and Prevent – including introducing regulations to:

  • extend the use of face coverings in indoor communal settings such as staff canteens and corridors in workplaces
  • reinforce compliance to FACTS guidance
  • ask shops to return to use of 2 metre distancing and to reintroduce mitigations such as one way systems.

There will also be a review and tightening of guidance for operating practices across all sectors and the Government will finalise a strategic framework setting out different levels of intervention to be adopted in future depending on how the virus is spreading.

Further information:

 

BM Scotland Coronavirus update - 18 June

British Marine Scotland welcome the move towards further easing of lockdown measures. 

Moving into Phase 2 

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon stated that the Scottish Government is now moving to phase 2 of the Routemap through and out of the crisis however, changes in phase 2 will be introduced in stages rather than all at once.  Details of today’s announcement are available here along with an updated Routemap showing the changes in Phase 2 and the relevant dates.  Elements included in today’s announcement include:

  • People should continue to stay in their local area (broadly within five miles) as much as possible and should not travel further for leisure or recreation.
  • Indoor, non-office workplaces, such as factories, may re-open from 29 June (following relevant guidance). 
  • Street-access retail can re-open from 29 June (following relevant guidance).  Interiors of shopping malls/centres remain closed for non-essential shops until Phase 3.
  • Re-opening for pubs and restaurants using outdoor spaces will be further reviewed and an update will be provided in 2 weeks. 
  • Wearing of face coverings will become mandatory on public transport from 22 June.
  • For boating communities, Phase 2 doesn’t yet extend current on water activities or cruising ranges but it is another step on the path.  As we progress forwards through the routemap, it will remain important for marine businesses to continue to keep staff, customers and local communities informed of restrictions and plans for changes to business operations, services and facilities.
  • Physical distancing and hygiene rules will continue and customers should be reminded of this.  Customers should also be reminded of the need to be well prepared for their return to boating and to thoroughly check their boats, machinery, fuel and safety gear before venturing onto the water.

Coordinating Across the Sector 

  • Throughout this crisis, British Marine Scotland have liaised closely with RYA Scotland to ensure a consistent message to businesses and boating communities and we urge member businesses to stay up to date with RYA Scotland guidance to boaters. 

Helping you Plan

  • British Marine is continuing to work hard to assist members to navigate their businesses through this difficult time and information and guidance on the British Marine website and Coronavirus Microsite is being updated daily to keep members as informed as possible. 
  • Whilst the announcement today does not allow certain business operations to resume yet, it does give confidence that we are progressing through the routemap (and Scotland's tourism industry has been given a new provisional date of 3 July for reopening).
  • We know that many of you will be deep into your planning ahead - please remember resources are available to help - British Marine has produced guidance for different sectors within the marine industries – 5 sector guides are available now with further 2 to follow and all will be reviewed and updated as we progress forwards and lockdown unfolds.  Guides available can be found on the Back to Business section. 



 

 

Is there any further information on the businesses in Scotland which are eligible for the leisure, hospitality and retail grant?

British Marine is disappointed to see boathouses and slipways on the list of exclusions produced by the Scottish Parliament. 

British Marine and British Marine Scotland are working closely with our Scottish partners to ensure our members receive the financial support they need. We have, and will continue to, convey our concerns and those of the businesses we represent to members of the Scottish Parliament.

British Marine worked closely with Tourism Alliance and was pleased to see the Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales,confirm that marinas, boat hire and passenger boat facilities, should, in its view, be eligible for the leisure, hospitality retail grant.

Whilst the LGA does not represent councils in Scotland, British Marine was disappointed to see the Scottish Parliament adopt a different position to that of the LGA without a clear explanation. We will continue our discussions and lobbying efforts with key parties to improve the support available to our members based in Scotland.

We have written to MSPs and COSLA, the body which represents local authorities in Scotland to outline our concerns.

How does the support announced by the UK Government and the Scottish Parliament differ?

There are a number of similarities. The UK Government has created a separate website which sets out the details of all the support announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This website contains information on who can apply for each measure and whether it is UK-wide, or only available in England. 

Most of the measures announced by the UK Government are applicable to businesses in Scotland. The key and notable differenceinclude the administration of the business rates relief and grants. This is because the measures announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in March 2020 only apply in England, they do not apply in Scotland. 

However, the Scottish Parliament has announced its own business rates holiday and grants. Full details of the support for Scottish businesses can be found here

I am a business based in Scotland am I eligible to receive a grant?

The Scottish Parliament has announced further phases of its business support package to help firms struggling with the impact of COVID-19. The changes announced include an extension to the Small Business Grant Scheme and new support for SMEs and the recently self-employed. This £100 million fund can be broken down as follows:

  •    Newly self-employed hardship fund – with hardship grants of £2,000 available
  •   Creative, tourism and hospitality companies – with hardship grants of between £3,000 and £25,000 available
  •   Vulnerable SMEs – can apply to the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund for a bespoke grant based on the company’s individual circumstances

The Scottish Parliament has announced further grants for businesses affected by COVID-19.

These additional grants are for businesses in the leisure, hospitality and retail sector. The other type of grant is for small businesses. This support can be broken down as follows:

Leisure, Hospitality and Retail

Firstly, all businesses in the leisure, hospitality and retail sector will receive a 12-month business rates holiday. This applies to all businesses in these sectors, regardless of size. This relief is available from 1 April 2020 and will finish on 31 March 2021. This policy means all eligible businesses will pay no business rates during this period. 

Businesses in these sectors could also be eligible for a £25,000 grant. To apply, a business must have a rateable value between £18,001 and £51,000. British Marine understands this grant is a one-off payment to support eligible businesses. Rather, the grant is not per property.   

Small Businesses

Secondly, all businesses which are in receipt of Small Business Bonus or Rural Relief will be eligible for a £10,000 grant. Following an announcement on 15 April 2020, the small business grant scheme was extended. The changes mean that, for this specific grant, business will be eligible to a 100% grant on the first property and a 75% grant on all subsequent properties. 

Business Rates

Finally, our members should note that the Scottish Parliament has taken the decision to lower business rates for all non-domestic properties for 2020-21. This means that all businesses, regardless of sector will receive a 1.6% rates relief.

You must apply for the grants through your local authority.  

Our members do not need to apply for the businesses rates relief as local authorities will apply this discount automatically. More information on these measures, including details of how to apply for the grants can be found here.

 

What is the position in Scotland?

The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has published a dedicated ‘route map’ outlining the next steps for the people of Scotland. On 9 July, she announced that the country would be entering the third phase of its plan. 

The reopening of the tourism sector has been conditionally brought forward. Now, overnight stays in self-catering accommodation and second homes which do not have shared facilities are permitted. Households can also travel more than five miles as the advice on staying local has been relaxed.  

Whilst two metres remains the default social distancing position, there are some scenarios where one metre may be used, provided other risk mitigation measures are followed. Outdoor hospitality, indoor hospitality and retail are listed as eligible exemptions that can adopt the one metre requirement, provided they take additional precautions. More information on the additional risk mitigation measures which should be followed can be found here.
 
Now it is possible for outdoor businesses, including boatyard operators and marinas to restart activity subject to the guidelines on social distancing. The lifting of some restrictions means that unrestricted outdoor and 'non contact' exercise is also permitted.