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COVID-19 Update 24th February 2021

  • Reopening Plan for Scotland

The First Minister outlined Scotland’s plans on the sequencing of re-opening the economy from late April onwards in a statement to Parliament today. The main points of this are:

    • Moving back to a levels system from the last week in April with all parts of the country currently in level 4 moved back to level 3
    • From 5th April restrictions on outdoor gatherings  will be eased so that at least 6 people from 2 households can meet together.
    • Also from 5th April, retail will begin to reopen with an extension of the definition of essential retail and the removal of restrictions on click-and collect.
    • From the last week of April there will be a phased but significant re-opening of the economy, including non-essential retail, hospitality and services like gyms and hairdressers.
    • The strategic framework business fund will be in place at least the end of June.
    • When exiting Level four, businesses that are allowed to reopen will continue to receive payments from the fund for at least the next four weeks
    • Tapered support is also being considering for businesses that may still face trading restrictions and reduced demand

The Scottish Government will publish a further document in mid-March giving more detail


  • The Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG (Closed) Addendum)

The second wave of LRSG payments for closed businesses has been announced and covers the period 16th February to 31st March 2021. The payments for this 44 day period are:


    • £2,096 – if your business has a property with a rateable value of up to £15,000
    • £3,143 – if your business has a property with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000
    • £4,714 – if your business has a property with a rateable value of £51,000 or more


  • VAT Deferral Scheme

The new VAT deferral scheme has gone live. This lets you:

    • pay your deferred VAT in equal instalments, interest free
    • choose the number of instalments, from 2 to 11 (depending on when you join)


  • Apprenticeships During Coronavirus

The Government has revised and updated the guidance publication on managing apprenticeships to provide information on:

    • the temporary flexibilities that have been applied during the coronavirus (COVD-19) outbreak
    • how and when apprentices can safely train and undertake an assessment in the workplace and educational and assessment settings


  • Road Map Scenarios

If you’ve got a bit of time and interested about these things, the Government has published a series of papers by different research groups including Imperial College and Warwick University which model a range of reopening scenarios including ones very similar to the road map published yesterday
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