Introduction – structure of Newsletter
Priority will be given to ongoing information from Scottish Government and other sources in relation to roles and responsibilities in monitoring and suppressing Covid-19. The Newsletter will continue to be published monthly but will be supplemented as necessary where new guidance or information becomes available.
Coronavirus – Scottish Government latest guidance
On 23rd October The Scottish Government produced Scotland’s Strategic Framework, which was ratified in the Scottish Parliament on 27th October. This document sets out a strategic approach to suppress the virus to the lowest possible level and keep it there, while striving to return to a more normal life for as many people as possible.
It includes the well-publicised 5 tier protection levels. The new protection levels came into force on Monday 2nd November and will be reviewed on a weekly basis each Tuesday. The Argyll and Bute Council area remains in protection level 2.
Scottish Government Guidance on Forming ‘Family Bubbles’ over Christmas
During the period 23rd December to 27th December inclusive, there will be a limited relaxation of the COVID-19 rules to allow people to travel within the UK to spend Christmas together, in “Bubbles” of up to three households if they wish. The Scottish Government has published guidance for this period here.
A Q&A on family bubbles and hospitality venues can be found here, and for tourist accommodation, here.
Scottish Government Strategic Framework Business Fund
This Business Fund remains open for applications –
If your business is required to close by law, or required by law to modify its operations, you could be entitled to a grant from the Strategic Framework Business Fund from 2 November 2020. There are two types of grant available:
- Temporary Closure Grant – if your business is required by law to close; and
- Business Restrictions Grant – if your business is specifically required to modify its operations
These funds are managed by local authorities and full details can be found on the Argyll and Bute website here, with an overview at the Scottish Government website.
For further information and advice please e-mail email@example.com or call 01546-604833 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
Environmental Health – Local Guidance
Our Environmental Health team advises that the Argyll and Bute Council area has not been immune to the spread of Covid-19 and there have been cases and outbreaks within the Council area.
Some of these cases and outbreaks have been linked to commercial premises and there is a potential for any premises to be linked to a case or outbreak because a Covid-19 case has visited the premises; or there are close contacts who work within the business; or there may have been a failure in business COVID-19 measures. We ask that Businesses remain vigilant in ensuring COVID-19 measures are in place and are constantly reviewed and updated. In managing cases and outbreaks, the importance of being able to access accurate customer details and information from businesses is critical, so please assure yourself that your own systems are robust and remember -
Test & Protect - this is a mandatory requirement – see guidance (updated 19th November);
Test & Protect - encourage staff and customers to download the Protect Scotland App;
Face Coverings - public facing, front of house staff, and customers (when not eating or drinking within premises) are required to wear face coverings unless they meet the specific exemptions. View the rules on the Scottish Government website here.
Further advice can be obtained from Environmental Health on 01546-605519 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Coronavirus – other guidance
Food Standards Scotland risk assessment tool
What you can and cannot do (updated 25th November)
Face coverings mandatory in workplace communal areas
Coronavirus Job Support Scheme expanded
Argyll and Bute Council assistance
Two phishing scams to be aware of –
- Be aware of potential phishing scams arriving via text supposedly coming from the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government will never ask you for sensitive personal information or your banking details by text. If you receive a suspicious text message, you can report it by calling Police Scotland on 101.
- HMRC are warning those who need to fill out a self-assessment tax return to stay vigilant of potential scams. Many scams target customers to inform them of a fake ‘tax rebate’ or ‘tax refund’ they are due. The imposters use language intended to convince them to hand over personal information, including bank details, in order to claim the ‘refund’. Criminals will use this information to access customers’ bank accounts, trick them into paying fictitious tax bills, or sell on their personal information to other criminals.
Strategic Events and Festivals Fund Round Three
Round three of Argyll and Bute Council’s Strategic Events and Festivals Fund opens for applications at midday on 22 October 2020. The fund is open to events and festivals that are of strategic importance to the area and that will take place between April 2021 and March 2022.
Applications to the fund close at midday 7th December 2020. More information here.
Online Personal Licence Training
Highfield Training are providing their Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence holder Training courses online and are offering examination using remote invigilation. All that is required is a smartphone, a laptop with a camera and photographic identification. The online course is ideal for those with basic computing skills wanting to apply for a Personal Licence or to refresh or renew their existing Personal Licence. More information, including contact details, here.
Three local trainers have advised they too are providing online training – Christine Roberts at www.northstarconsultancy.co.uk; Lynn Nicholson at www.thebenlomond.com, and Morag Beattie at www.mbtrainingscotland.co.uk
Update to Scottish Certificate For Personal Licence Holder Qualification – 1 December 2020
The Scottish Government has announced the new updated Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (SCPLH) and Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders Refresher (SCPLHR) qualifications which will be available from accredited Awarding Bodies from 1 December 2020.
Further details can be found here, including a downloadable syllabus.
Licensing Board Annual Festive Season Policy
At the licensing board meeting on 10th November it was decided that due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions on the hospitality sector there would be no festive season policy for 2020 in relation to late hours licensing and applications for extended hours or occasional licences. Licensees should be aware that any applications received will be processed in line with the prevailing Covid-19 conditions at the time, which may mean licences not being issued.
Other local information
Personal Licence Refresher Training and Mandatory 10 Year Renewals
Personal licence accredited trainers
Contact Licensing Standards and Licensing Board team
Free off-street Christmas Parking: To help support local businesses and encourage people to shop local, Argyll and Bute Council will suspend all off-street parking charges from 11 – 24 December.
Customs declarations: HMRC grants are available to help businesses.
The Licensing Standards service does not provide legal advice or opinion and the above information should not be considered such. Any legal advice or opinion on licensing matters should be obtained from a licensing solicitor.