About the blog
Note: This blog is updated weekly on Friday mornings.
The title on the post will be amended to show when updates have been made and newly added entries will be prefixed with ‘NEW!’. Please note that the URL in the address bar remains the same (i.e. including 19 March) – this is to ensure that links are not broken and anyone who has bookmarked the page can return easily.
Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) are receiving a large number of enquiries relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19). SPICe is still responding to enquiries through the usual enquiry process.
However, to aid MSPs in responding to their constituents, and for the use of anyone else who is interested, we are providing this blogpost.
The post contains links to trusted and official external sources of information relating to issues that constituents may be needing advice on.
Please see our COVID-19 hub for a full list of subject specific SPICe blogs
The blog includes an introductory section on ‘where are we now?’, followed by sources broken down into broad subjects, each section split into ‘guidance’ and ‘funding and support’:
SPICe will also keep our other publications in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19) under review. Please sign-up to Spotlight and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date.
From Monday 9 August, Scotland has moved out of the COVID-19 levels system, and is now beyond Level 0. The legal requirements for physical distancing and limits on gatherings have been removed. However, some protective measures have remained, such as the use of face coverings indoors and the collection of contact details as part of Test and Protect.
A vaccination certification scheme is in operation from 1 October. People attending certain late night venues and larger indoor and outdoor live events will be required to show staff proof of their Covid status or a valid exemption. Legal enforcement of the scheme will not come into effect until Monday 18 October.
General guidance on the remaining rules is available on the Scottish Government website.
- NEW! Scottish Government – The Scottish Government’s vaccine certification scheme comes into effect from 1 October. The NHS Scotland Covid Status App is available for download from NHS Inform. (1 October 2021)
- NEW! Scottish Government publish an updated 2021 vaccination strategy, including plans for COVID-19 and seasonal influenza (flu) vaccinations in autumn and winter 2021 to 2022 in Scotland. (30 September 2021)
- NEW! Scottish Government – Travellers from non-red list countries who have been fully vaccinated in a country that meets recognised standards of certifications will no longer be required to provide evidence of a negative test result before they can travel to Scotland, from 4 October. (24 September 2021)
- Scottish Government – More than 10 million COVID-19 PCR tests have now been carried out in Scotland over the past 19 months since testing got underway. (22 September 2021)
- Scottish Government – Covid-19 booster vaccinations underway. Residents in care homes for older people are the first to be offered Covid-19 booster vaccinations. Injections will be given alongside flu jab where appropriate. (20 September 2021)
- Scottish Government – Children and young people aged 12 -15 years old will be offered a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from Monday 20 September. (14 September 2021)
- Scottish Parliament approves vaccine certification plans. From Friday 1 October, Coronavirus vaccination certificates will be required to enter events such as nightclubs, music festivals and some football grounds. (9 September 2021)
- Scottish Government – Programme for Government 2021-22. The core priorities of the programme are ‘leading Scotland safely out of the pandemic, urgently confronting climate change, driving a green, fair economic recovery, and boosting opportunities for children and young people’. (7 September 2021)
- Scottish Government announce proposals for Coronavirus vaccination certificates as a requirement for entry to certain events and higher risk venues, such as nightclubs, music festivals and some football grounds. The proposals will be put to Parliament for a vote planned for the week beginning 6 September. (1 September 2021)
- Scottish Government invites views on the draft aims and principles of an independent public inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (24 August 2021)
- Scottish Government – consultation on Scotland’s recovery launched, which sets out a range of proposals, including whether some temporary provisions made under Scottish and UK coronavirus legislation and due to expire in March 2022 should be maintained. (17 August 2021)
- First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces Scotland to move beyond level 0 on 9 August, when the legal requirement for physical distancing and limits on gatherings will be removed. Some protective measures will stay in place such as the use of face coverings indoors and the collection of contact details as part of Test and Protect. (03 August 2021)
- Scottish Government – Vaccine deployment plan update. (23 July 2021)
- First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces all of Scotland will move to protection level 0 on Monday 19 July. Physical distancing in will reduce to 1 metre in all indoor public settings and outdoors, and informal social gatherings of up to 15 people from 15 households will be permitted outdoors without physical distancing. Mandatory face coverings will remain in place. (13 July 2021)
- First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces the priorities for the Scottish Government in the first 100 days, including completing the vaccination of all adults, subject to supply; establishing a cross-party steering group on COVID recovery; and publishing an NHS Recovery plan. (26 May 2021)
- UK Chief Medical Officers issue a joint statement recommending that the UK COVID-19 alert level move from level 4 to level 3. (10 May 2021)
- MHRA – Modified COVID-19 vaccines for variants to be fast-tracked (4 March 2021)
- The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) issues interim advice on Phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccination programme rollout. Evidence suggests an age-based approach remains the most effective way of reducing death and hospitalisation from COVID-19. (26 February 2021)
- Scottish Government – updated Strategic Framework setting out the broad order of priority for re-opening and the conditions that need to be met to start lifting restrictions. (23 February 2021)
- Scottish Government – expansion of testing to include anyone who is identified as a close contact of somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19, from 18 February. (17 February 2021)
Information and Guidance
- NEW! Scottish Government – Vaccine certification scheme: guidance for customers. (30 September 2021)
- NEW! Scottish Government – Vaccine certification scheme: guidance for businesses and event organisers (28 September 2021)
- NEW! Scottish Government – Vaccine certification to come into effect on 1 October. However, legal enforcement of the scheme will not come into effect until Monday 18 October. (28 September 2021)
- Scottish Government – Organisations with ten or more employees can now sign up to a voluntary asymptomatic workplace testing programme. The workplace testing offer will initially run until the end of September 2021, in line with the universal testing offer. (11 August 2021)
- Scottish Government – Changes to self-isolation rules for close contacts of COVID-19 cases – essential staff in critical roles will be allowed to return to work to maintain lifeline services and critical national infrastructure. (23 July 2021)
- Scottish Government – Guidance on returning to offices (2 July 2021)
- Scottish Government – Launch of Check in Scotland, a new digital service to support businesses in collecting contact details for contact tracing purposes (26 April 2021)
- Scottish Government – Guidance for calculating physical distancing capacity in public settings (26 April 2021)
- Scottish Government – Workplace testing expanded to high-risk workplaces. Food production and processing businesses are being urged to sign up for routine staff testing to help identify cases of COVID-19. (5 March 2021)
- HMRC – Self Assessment customers who cannot file their tax return by the 31 January 2021 deadline will not receive a late filing penalty if they file online by 28 February. (25 January 2021)
- Scottish Government – changes…