The Scottish Government has published the responses to the National Care Service consultation. You can read them here: https://www.gov.scot/news/national-care-service-consultation-responses-published/
The Distance Aware initiative was formally launched in Scotland on Wednesday 26 January. Additional information on the launch is provided below, along with a stakeholder pack. The Scottish Government requests support in promoting and raising awareness of the scheme.
The Scottish Government has worked with the Bevan Commission to adopt the Distance Aware scheme and adapt it for Scotland. The initiative is designed to support people in adapting to live with the Covid virus in ways that are less restrictive and can help overcome anxiety and help to build confidence about returning to public settings as and when they re-open.
The initiative enables individuals (and organisations if they wish) to politely prompt ongoing distancing and respect of individual social space. The scheme is symbolised by a shield with arrows indicating the desired space. The shield icon is worn as a badge or lanyard to allow individuals to indicate that they would like to have space around them.
User research carried out by the Scottish Government last summer showed that nearly a quarter (24%) of the people on the Highest Risk List surveyed said they had not met people outdoors who were not part of their household; 50% said they had not met others indoors; and that 73% of those who were expecting to return to work felt uncomfortable about the prospect.
The scheme is completely voluntary and is available to anyone who needs it for any reason, to make sure everyone benefits as restrictions are eased and we return to a more normal way of life. This will be a big step or change for some for many reasons, and it is hoped that this will make more people confident and comfortable in public places and work. It also provides an opportunity to discuss with staff, customers or members what living with the virus and returning to a more normal way of life means for everyone, and how we can do this in consideration of those who find it harder to adapt.
To ensure success of the scheme the Scottish Government is asking businesses and representative organisations to help raise awareness of the Distance Aware symbol with staff, customers and members.
The attached stakeholder pack provides information on Distance Aware, and includes suggestions on ways in which business and organisations can participate in the scheme, and offers resources to support them with this.
Please note that the Chief Medical Officer has written to everyone on the highest risk list to provide an update following the recent easing of protective measures, and to highlight the Distance Aware scheme.
The CMO letter also provides information on priority access to PCR tests, updated information around lateral flow tests, sources of mental health support, and advice for those who may be considering a change in employment.
Covid Office Guidance inc Hybrid Working
The Covid guidance on office working has been revised and updated with guidance on hybrid working. You can read the revised guidance here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-offices/