Easing of Covid restrictions

The First Minister announced that from Monday 19th July, all parts of Scotland will move to level 0.  There though will be certain modifications made to level 0 rules, with hospitality venues required to close at midnight, physical distancing to remain in outdoor public places and people encouraged to work from home until at least 9 August. Read the full statement here

Guidance on COVID-19 Protection Levels has also been updated yesterday (13th July). The guidance sets out what you can and cannot do at each level. 

Early learning and childcare: statutory guidance – July 2021 

Statutory guidance to education authorities to support them in exercising their functions in relation to the delivery of early learning and childcare from 1 August 2021 has been published today here

This statutory guidance is issued under section 34 of the Standards in Scotland’s Schools Act 2000 (the 2000 Act) which empowers Scottish Ministers to issue guidance to education authorities on the exercise of their functions in relation to the delivery of early learning and childcare. This statutory guidance applies from 1 August 2021. 

This guidance replaces previous guidance and circulars; and should be read in connection with the legislation to which it relates. 

The main part of the statutory guidance follows the provisions as set out in Part 6 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, as it is through these functions that early learning and childcare is defined. To complement this the document also sets out additional guidance on key related legislation and policy that are out-with the scope of section 34 of the 2000 Act under which this statutory guidance is issued. 

Update April 2021

LG Pay 2021  

Preparations are underway for the consultative ballot and further campaign resources will be circulated in advance of the ballot opening.   

LG Hustings – Thursday 15th April, 7pm

Three of the five major parties have now confirmed they will send a representative to our online hustings event which will be live-streamed on Facebook. 

Click on the image to go to Eventbrite

LG ‘One Year of Covid’ Survey –  Members should have already received a national reminder, however please see link below

Return of schools 

As you will be aware nearly all pupils are due to return to full-time school when the Easter holidays end. 

However, children who are on the shielding list are advised to stay at home until 26 April, in line with advice from the Chief Medical Officer. All other pupils, will return to school once the summer term starts. 

Strict 2 metre physical distancing between pupils in secondary schools will be removed and schools will consider how they can strengthen other mitigations. 

Following the national expansion of lateral flow testing, twice-weekly tests are available for all school staff in primary, secondary and special schools and for secondary school pupils. 

More info on the return of schools here: 

https://www.gov.scot/news/return-to-full-time-school

Reassurance of Safety of COVID-19 Lateral Flow Test  

There have been inaccurate posts on social media and on-line regarding the safety of Covid-19 lateral flow tests in relation to the use of ethylene oxide in the sterilization of the swabs. We urge everyone to get their facts from reputable sources. 

Dr Fu-Meng Khaw, Public Health England COVID-19 Incident Director, said: 

 “Parents, children and staff should feel reassured that lateral flow tests used in schools have been rigorously tested and are completely safe to use on a regular basis. Any suggestion otherwise is inaccurate and harmful misinformation.” 

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said:  

“Lateral flow tests have been rigorously tested and are safe to use on a regular basis. Any suggestion otherwise is inaccurate and harmful misinformation. 

“The manufacturers have confirmed that 1-2ug/g of ethylene oxide is used in the swabs, which is well within national/international safety standards. 

“We are working closely with social media platforms to help them identify and take action to remove incorrect claims about the pandemic, including deliberately false information that could endanger people’s health.” 

Testing for care home visitors gets underway

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for designated visitors of care home residents has started this week with a trial across five local authority areas.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for designated visitors of care home residents has started this week with a trial across five local authority areas.

Lateral flow testing of designated visitors is being trialled in 14 early adopter care homes in North Ayrshire, Fife, Argyll and Bute, Inverclyde, and Aberdeenshire.

Testing kits will then be sent out to all care homes from Monday 14 December, as announced by the First Minister on Wednesday, once guidance and training materials have been finalised following the trial.

For any care homes unable to make use of lateral flow tests before Christmas, PCR testing of visitors will be available when necessary to facilitate visiting over the festive period.

Guidance, tools and resources on visiting, and supporting residents in care homes during COVID-19 (incl over the festive season)

Guidance on how care home visiting may be gradually increased while minimising risks to residents, staff and visitors has been issued. The guidance recommends care homes take a staged approach to resuming visiting. In addition, the guidance sets out actions to mitigate risks to residents, visitors and staff.  

For all care homes, regardless of Covid status, essential visits are to be supported where possible to do so safely, without a defined time limit.