While restrictions relating to COVID-19 have eased since the start of lockdown the situation remains serious. It is vitally important that we continue to follow the rules laid out by the Scottish Government.
The key points are as follows:
- wear a face covering
- avoid crowded places
- clean hands and surfaces regularly
- stay 2m away from other people
- self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms
- Download the Protect Scotland contact tracing app.
The rules on what to do to protect yourself and others during this crisis come from government and NHS sources while the support options are sourced from both government and third sector sources.
What you should be doing
We are currently in Phase 3 of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown.
The Scottish Government has laid out exactly what this means for you and your daily life here. You should not visit any other household inside their home, maintain good hand hygiene and maintain social distancing. You should wear a face covering in shops, crowded areas and on public transport.
Remember, any social gathering should consist of no more than six people from two households and shout not take place inside a home.
It is important to note that during this stage working from home remains the default if at all possible. If you feel your employer is expecting you to come into work unreasonably or that your workplace is unsafe and you live in the Highlands & Islands, please feel free to get in touch with me and I will provide any support I can.
If you or someone in your household falls ill
If you have symptoms you, and anyone in your household, should stay at home and arrange to be tested for COVID-19. Further information on this can be found at NHS Inform.
In an emergency you should still phone 999 and tell them you have COVID-19 symptoms.
Support available to you
Ready Scotland has links to a wide range of organisations who may be able to help you. Among others this link includes advice for Older people, pregnant women, people facing problems with housing related to COVID-19 and people with mental health conditions who may be struggling during isolation. This is being updated on a rolling basis.
If you are on a low income and in need of immediate financial assistance you can apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund for a crisis grant. You do not need to be on benefits to receive a crisis grant, simply a low income. Those on benefits currently can apply to the fund.
Citizen’s Advice Scotland operate a helpline where trained advisers can help you with COVID-19 related issues such as employment, debt, home energy and more. You can call them on 0800 028 1456.
The Scottish Government also has a specialist helpline for people at high risk from COVID-19 but are unable to rely on support from family or friends for things like food shopping or medicine delivery. It can be reached on 0800 111 4000.
Highlands & Islands
Tourism is a vital part of the economy of the Highlands and Islands and following the reopening of the tourism industry we have seen large numbers of visitors coming to the Highlands and Islands. It is important to remember that many local communities will be still be feeling anxious about visitors coming from outwith the area. Please be respectful of local communities and environments, treat them as you would want visitors to treat your local area.
Each of the local authorities in the Highlands and Islands are working incredibly hard and are at the front line of responding to the crisis. However, many council services will be severely disrupted throughout this period. Further information is available from their Coronavirus webpages listed below: