Scot Gov News

First Minister launches Scottish National Investment Bank

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially launched the Scottish National Investment Bank.

It will be backed by £2bn of Scottish Government funding over the next decade

Scot Gov: “It will help to tackle some of the biggest challenges Scotland faces now and in years to come, delivering economic, social and environmental returns.”


The Scottish National Investment Bank has officially opened for business with the completion of its first major investment.

It is the UK’s first mission-led development bank and it is being capitalised by the Scottish Government with £2 billion over ten years.

The bank’s proposed missions will focus on supporting Scotland’s transition to net zero, extending equality of opportunity through improving places, and harnessing innovation to enable Scotland to flourish.

It will provide patient capital – a form of long term investment – for businesses and projects in Scotland, and catalyse further private sector investment.

Today’s £12.5 million investment in Glasgow-based laser and quantum technology company M Squared will support the company’s further growth in Scotland and speaks to the bank’s proposed core missions.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“The Scottish National Investment Bank will help to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face now and in the years to come, delivering economic, social and environmental returns.

“It is hitting the ground running with its first major investment in M Squared – a great example of the ambitious and innovative companies we have here in Scotland that will be key to our economic recovery and future prosperity.

“The launch of the bank is one of the most significant developments in the lifetime of this parliament, with the potential for it to transform, grow and decarbonise Scotland’s economy.”

Scottish National Investment Bank Chair Willie Watt said:

“Today is a key milestone for the Scottish National Investment Bank. Our launch enables us to make mission-led, strategic, patient investments in businesses and projects that can deliver benefits for the people of Scotland. I am excited about the role the Bank will play in supporting and enabling growth in the Scottish economy.

“We are particularly pleased that our first investment is in M Squared which is at the cutting edge of innovation and is a recognised world-leader in its field. It is our firm belief that the bank will make many more investments that deliver positive mission impacts in the years and decades to come.”

Dr Graeme Malcolm, CEO and founder of M Squared, said:

“Science and advanced technologies have a major role to play in Scotland’s future economic prosperity. By increasing investment in research and development with a mission-based approach, Scotland has a real opportunity to actively tackle climate change and benefit from the coming quantum revolution.

“We are delighted that the Scottish National Investment Bank has invested in M Squared as its very first business – our shared commitments to society and the environment makes this an ideal partnership that will enable accelerated growth and progress in frontier technologies.”

Benny Higgins, Strategic Adviser to the First Minister on the establishment of the bank, said:

“It has been a privilege to be part of an outstanding effort to make this a reality. We could not have predicted that the current pandemic renders the need for mission-led investment even more vital to create a robust, resilient wellbeing economy in Scotland.”


Article Source:

Scottish National Investment Bank – Website:

SNP – Investing in Scotland’s future:

Scottish Parliament rejects consent for Internal Market Bill

‘Internal Market Bill should be abandoned’

Parliament rejects consent for “deeply damaging” Bill.

The Internal Market Bill should be withdrawn by the UK Government after consent for it was denied by a majority of the Scottish Parliament, Constitution Secretary Michael Russell has said.

MSPs backed the Scottish Government’s Legislative Consent Memorandum, which states the Bill threatens devolution and breaches international law.

The constitutional convention is that the Westminster Parliament should not legislate in devolved areas without the Scottish Parliament’s consent.

(This article is replicated from the website on 7 Oct 2020)

Constitution Secretary Michael Russell said:

“The Scottish Parliament has explicitly – and comprehensively – rejected consent to the Internal Market Bill.

“As far as Scotland is concerned, today’s strong endorsement of the Scottish Government’s stance means this unnecessary Bill should now be withdrawn.

“Indeed no member of the Scottish Parliament who cared about its powers and the wishes of the people of Scotland could have possibly consented to this Bill.

“The Internal Market Bill is an unprecedented threat to the Scottish Parliament’s powers.

“It also means that if lower food and environmental standards are allowed elsewhere in the UK it will force Scotland to accept these standards regardless of any laws passed at Holyrood. The Bill will also mean the UK Government taking control of key devolved spending powers, and the devolved policy area of state aid.

“UK Government ministers have already accepted the Bill will break international law – it would now be outrageous if they decided also to shatter the constitutional convention that the Westminster Parliament does not legislate in devolved areas without consent.

“The Scottish Parliament has overwhelmingly backed this Government’s rejection of the Bill. Now we urge the UK Government, once again, to abandon this deeply damaging Bill.”


First Minister statement on additional COVID restrictions

Below is Nicola Sturgeon’s full statement to the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, October 7th, regarding the implementation of additional COVID restrictions in Scotland.

Presiding Officer

I want to update the chamber today on the current position in relation to Covid.

In doing so, I will give an assessment of the current course of the pandemic; propose important temporary measures to stem the increase in cases; set out how we will support businesses affected by them; and update the chamber on the longer term work we are doing to further improve our ability to live with Covid.

And in all of this, I will be very frank about the challenges we face and the difficult balances we must try to strike.

First, though, I will provide a summary of the daily statistics that were published a short time ago.

Since yesterday, an additional 1054 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed.

That represents 13% of the people newly tested, and takes the total number of cases to 34,760.

A total of 319 patients are currently in hospital with confirmed Covid-19, which is an increase of 57 since yesterday.

And 28 people are in intensive care with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, which is an increase of 3 since yesterday.

And in the past 24 hours, I regret to report that 1 further death has been registered of a patient who had been confirmed as having the virus.

The total number of deaths in Scotland under that measurement is therefore now 2,533.

National Records of Scotland has also just published its weekly update, which includes cases where COVID is a suspected or contributory cause of death.

Today’s update shows that by last Sunday, the total number of registered deaths linked to Covid, under that wider definition, was 4,276.

20 of those deaths were registered last week. That is the highest weekly number of deaths since late June.

Every single one of these deaths represents the loss of a unique and irreplaceable individual.

So once again, I want to send my deepest condolences to all those who are currently grieving.

These figures illustrate the rising challenge we again face from Covid.

That challenge is also set out – starkly – in an evidence paper published today by the Scottish Government’s senior clinical advisors – the Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Nursing Officer and the National Clinical Director.

It assesses our current situation in relation to the virus.

And it explains – as I will try to do in this statement – why we need to introduce additional measures to control the virus; why it is urgent that we act now; and why we have decided upon the specific actions that I am setting out today.

Before I come onto that explanation, however, I want to emphasise some of the more positive elements of our current position.

It is important – for the morale of all of us – that we don’t forget that progress has been made. It might not feel this way, but the situation now is better than it was in March.

We are benefiting from the sacrifices we made over the summer. By driving the virus to very low levels then, we have helped to ensure that – even after several weeks of increases – the estimated total number of cases in Scotland is currently just 13% of the peak level back in March.

Cases are rising, but they are not rising as quickly as they were then.

In addition, we now have Test & Protect teams across the country, who are doing exceptional work. Test & Protect is now bearing a lot of the strain of controlling the virus.

And we understand more now about how to reduce the risk of transmission – for example, by meeting outdoors rather than indoors if possible, wearing face coverings, cleaning hands thoroughly, and keeping our distance from people in other households.

So while there are significant restrictions still in place – and they are hard and painful – we are living much more freely now than in the spring and early summer.

We are determined – if at all possible – that this will continue to be the case.

So let me be clear. We are not going back into lockdown today. We are not closing schools, colleges or universities. We are not halting the remobilisation of the NHS for non-Covid care. And we are not asking people to stay at home.

So while the measures I announce today will feel like a backward step, they are in the interests of protecting our progress overall.

It is by taking the tough but necessary action now, that we hope to avoid even tougher action in future.

Let me turn now to specifics.

The need for action is highlighted by the daily figures I reported earlier and, more fundamentally, in the evidence paper published today.

It’s worth remembering that when I updated Parliament just over two weeks ago, the average number of new cases being reported each day was 285. That was up from 102 three weeks previously.

Now, we are reporting an average of 788 new cases each day.

In addition, I can report that in the 7 days up to Monday, the number of people in hospital with Covid increased by almost 80%.

And the number of people who died with Covid last week was the highest for 14 weeks.

In fact, there was the same number of deaths in the last week alone as in the whole of the previous month.

The increase in the numbers of people in hospital with, and sadly dying from Covid reflect the rise we are now seeing in new cases among older age groups. In the second half of September, cases were rising most rapidly in the younger age groups.

However, in the past week, cases in people over 80 years old increased by 60%, and cases in the 60 to 79 year old age group more than doubled.

And we are seeing geographic as well as demographic spread.

Without a doubt – and by some distance – the highest levels of infection are across the central belt.

We are particularly concerned about Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley – and that will be reflected in some of what I say later.

However, that should not obscure the fact that numbers are rising across Scotland.

The majority of our health board areas are now recording more than 50 new cases per 100,000 of their population each week.

And virtually every heath board area has a rising number of cases. The only exceptions are Orkney and Shetland, and even they have had cases in recent weeks.

There is also, as we speak, a significant outbreak in the Western Isles.

So the need to act – and to act across the country – is clear.

What is also clear is the need to take additional action now.

I mentioned earlier that prevalence of the virus is currently around 13% of its March peak.

However, we estimate that the number of new Covid cases is currently growing by 7% each day.

So without action – and this is perhaps the starkest warning in today’s evidence paper – we are likely to return to the peak level of infections we had in the Spring by the end of this month.

It’s also instructive to consider the experience of other countries. Our modelling suggests that we are approximately four weeks behind France and six weeks behind Spain in the resurgence of the virus.

Their resurgence, like ours, was initially concentrated among younger people. However it spread to other age groups and they are now seeing significantly more hospital admissions, more people in intensive care, and more deaths.

It is to interrupt that trajectory that we must act now.

Of course, we have already taken perhaps the most important – and painful – step we can to reduce transmission.

For the last 12 days, apart from certain limited exceptions, we have not been able to meet up in each other’s homes.

That should already be making a difference to infection rates even if, because there is always a time lag between introducing new measures and the impact they have, we are not yet seeing it reflected in our figures.

And let me take the opportunity to emphasise again today how vitally important it is that we all stick to that rule. It’s incredibly hard for all of us not to visit friends and family, or have them visit us. But it is the single most effective measure we can take to stop Covid passing from one household to another.

So please stick with it.

That measure is vital, but the clinical advice I have received now is that it is not sufficient. We need to do more and we need to do it now.

And to those who may wonder if the measures I set out today go too far, let me be clear about this.

If this was a purely one-dimensional decision – if the immediate harm from Covid was all we had to consider – it is quite likely that we would go further.

But, 7 months into this pandemic, I am acutely aware that this is not and cannot be a one-dimensional decision.

We have a duty to balance all of the different harms caused by the pandemic.

We have to consider the direct harm to health from the virus – which must be reduced – alongside the harm being done to jobs and the economy, which in turn has an impact on people’s health and wellbeing.

And we have to consider the wider harms to health and wellbeing that the virus – and the restrictions deployed to control it – are now having on all of us.

For all of these reasons, we are applying a far more targeted approach than we did in March – one which reduces opportunities for the virus to spread, while keeping businesses and other activities as open as possible.

And we are not recommending that people who shielded over the summer, should return to staying completely indoors. We know how damaging that is to your wellbeing. But we do recommend that you take extra care – especially if you live in the central belt. You can now access information about infection levels in your local neighbourhood on the Public Health Scotland website.

Presiding officer, let me now set out the additional measures that we are proposing.

The measures are intended to be in force for 16 days, from Friday at 6pm to Sunday 25 October inclusive – in other words across the next two weeks and three weekends.

So, firstly, with the exception of the five health board areas I will talk about shortly – pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will be able to operate indoors on the following very restricted basis only:

During the day, from 6am to 6pm, for the service of food and non-alcoholic drinks only.

Hotel restaurants will be able to operate beyond 6pm, but only for residents and without alcohol.

The reason we are not closing indoor hospitality completely is that we know the benefits, in terms of reducing loneliness and isolation, of giving people – particularly those who live alone – somewhere they can meet a friend for a coffee and a chat.

But the restrictions will be strictly applied. And all the current regulations and the limits on meeting a maximum of 6 people from 2 households will still apply.

Again with the exception of the central belt areas I will mention shortly, bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can continue to serve alcohol outdoors up to the existing curfew time of 10pm, and subject to the 6/2 rule on group size.

There will be an exemption to these rules – in all parts of Scotland – for celebrations associated with specific life events such as weddings that are already booked and funerals. The current rules for those will continue to apply.

Presiding Officer,

These are the new measures that will take effect nationwide.

However, because of higher levels of infection in the central belt, we are introducing stricter restrictions in the following five health board areas – Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley.

In these areas, all licensed premises – with the exception of hotels for residents – will be required to close indoors and outdoors, though takeaways will be permitted.

Cafes which don’t have an alcohol license will be able to stay open until 6pm to support social isolation.

In addition, snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls will close in these areas for two weeks from 10 October.

Contact sports for people aged 18 and over will be suspended for the next two weeks – with an exception for professional sports.

And indoor group exercise activities will not be allowed – although the current rules will remain in place for under 18s. Gyms can remain open for individual exercise.

Outdoor live events will not be permitted in these five regions for the next two weeks.

And finally, we are asking people living in these 5 health board areas to avoid public transport unless it is absolutely necessary – for example for going to school or to work, if home working is not an option.

We are not imposing mandatory travel restrictions at this stage, and specifically, we are not insisting that people cancel any half term breaks they have planned.

However, in general, we are advising people living in Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley not to travel outside the health board area they live in, if you don’t need to – and likewise people in other parts of Scotland should not travel to these areas if they don’t need to.

More detail of all that I have just set out will be available on the Scottish Government website.

I now want to set out some of the reasoning behind these decisions, and the focus on hospitality.

I know that the vast majority of pubs, bars and restaurants have worked exceptionally hard over the last few months to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. I am grateful to them for that.

However the evidence paper published today sets out why these settings present a particular risk. The R number seems to have risen above 1 approximately three weeks after the hospitality sector opened up. We know that more than 1/5 of people contacted by test and trace, report having visited a hospitality setting.

That makes sense from what we know about how the virus is spread.

Indoor environments, where different households from different age groups can mix, inevitably present a risk of transmission. That risk can be increased, in some hospitality premises, if good ventilation is difficult, and if it is hard to control the movement of people. And the presence of alcohol can of course affect people’s willingness to physically distance.

For all of these reasons, significantly restricting licensed premises for sixteen days temporarily removes one of the key opportunities the virus has to jump from household to household. It is an essential part of our efforts to get the R number significantly below 1.

It is also worth noting that many other countries are also introducing restrictions on hospitality – Ireland, France, Germany and Belgium have announced a variety of different measures over the past few days.

I mentioned earlier that one of the things we are trying to do is to balance the public health harm caused by Covid, with wider economic and social harms.

I know that the measures we are proposing today will have a significant impact on many businesses. And since the Government is placing an obligation on businesses, we also have an obligation to help businesses.

I can announce that we are making available an additional £40 million to support businesses that will be affected by these measures over the next two weeks. We will work with the affected sectors – especially hospitality – in the coming days to ensure that this money provides the most help, to those who most need it.

For the rest of this month, businesses can also use the UK Government’s job retention scheme. However, that now requires a significant contribution from employers – so one of the things we will discuss with businesses, in relation to our own support package, is how we can mitigate some or all of that contribution.

As I have indicated, our intention is that these additional measures will be in place for just over two weeks, incorporating three weekends – from 6pm on Friday to Sunday, 25 October. However, we will keep the situation under review between now and then, and keep Parliament updated.

We hope that the restrictions already in place and those I have announced today will stem the increase in new cases. However, that is down to all of us.

The more we comply, the more effective they will be.

It is also important that we use the next two weeks to prepare, protect and prevent – to further strengthen our resilience and our ability to live alongside this virus. So we will also take the following steps.

Firstly, we will introduce regulations to extend the mandatory use of face coverings in indoor communal settings – this will include, for example, staff canteens and corridors in workplaces.

We will take action to strengthen compliance with the different strands of the FACTS advice – focusing on areas where we know from research that compliance is not yet high enough, for example, the need to self isolate.

I can also confirm that, from this weekend and across Scotland, we are asking shops to return to 2 metre physical distancing and reintroduce the mitigations they put in place earlier in the pandemic – for example, one way systems.

We will also work across all other sectors to review – and where necessary tighten – the guidance and regulation on their operating practices.

In addition, we will conduct a further review of our testing strategy – setting out the steps we will take to further expand capacity and build resilience and extend testing to more people without symptoms.

And, lastly, we will finalise a strategic framework, setting out the different levels of intervention which can be adopted in future – either locally or across Scotland – depending on how the virus is spreading. We hope to align the broad framework with those adopted by other UK nations – although each nation will take its own decisions on implementation.

We will put this strategic framework to a vote in Parliament after the recess.

Presiding officer,

I am well aware that the measures I have outlined today are disruptive to many businesses – especially hospitality businesses – and will be unwelcome to many people.

However although they are significant – as they need to be, to make an impact – they do not represent a lockdown. In fact, they are designed to reduce the likelihood of a future lockdown.

We are not requiring people to stay inside all day.

Schools will stay open. Learning will continue in our Universities and Colleges

Shops will continue to trade, and businesses such as manufacturing and construction will continue.

And these new restrictions will last for 16 days. They are intended to be short, sharp action to arrest a worrying increase in infection.

However although they are temporary, they are needed.

Without them, there is a risk the virus will be out of control by the end of this month.

But with them, we hope to slow its spread. That will help to keep schools and businesses open over the winter. And it will save lives.

So please follow these new rules. And continue to take the other basic steps that will protect you and each other.

Do not visit other people’s homes.

Work from home if you can.

Download the Protect Scotland app, if you can.

And remember FACTS.

Face coverings; avoid crowded places; clean hands and hard surfaces; 2 metre distancing; and self isolate, and book a test if you have symptoms.

Sticking to all of this isn’t easy, after seven long months. But it is essential. It’s the best way to look out for each other, and now more than ever, we all need that spirit of love and solidarity that has served us so well.

And hard through it is to believe it right now, all the hard sacrifices we are making will hasten the brighter days that do lie ahead.

So, let’s all stick with it – and above all, let’s stick together.

Thank you, again, for all you are doing.

Finance Ministers’ “deep concern” over UK Internal Market Bill

Spending proposals would “reverse devolution”. (17 Sept 2020)

Finance Ministers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have met to discuss a range of fiscal matters and voiced their collective concerns about the financial implications the UK Internal Market Bill will have on devolved governments.

Kate Forbes, Rebecca Evans and Conor Murphy expressed their joint concerns on the spending powers set out in the Bill which override the existing devolution settlement.

The powers enable the UK Government to undertake spending in devolved areas, including for replacement of EU funding, without any engagement with the devolved nations.

Finance Ministers also voiced concerns about what this could mean for future consequential funding arrangements.

Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes said:

“It is entirely unacceptable that – with no prior notice – the UK Government has written provisions into the Bill that presume Whitehall control over the delivery of replacements for the EU funding programme in Scotland – a programme that Scottish Ministers have delivered successfully for decades.

“This Bill would also allow the UK Government to dictate how money is spent in devolved areas without the consent of Scottish Ministers. It puts at risk funding for a whole host of capital programmes – schools, hospitals and infrastructure. It reverses the devolution process and we will oppose any attempt to bypass the Scottish Parliament and Government, which are elected by the people of Scotland.

“Not only is it in contravention of the devolution settlement, but it has the potential to create confusion, duplication and unnecessary additional bureaucracy at a time when economic recovery is paramount.”

Welsh Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said:

“I am deeply concerned that the Bill gives UK Ministers, for the first time since devolution, powers to fund activity in areas which are clearly devolved to Wales.

“In Wales funding decisions are taken in partnership with local communities, to ensure that they reflect the needs of the people in Wales. The powers set out in the Bill completely undermine devolution and will see decisions currently taken in Wales, clawed back by the UK Government.”

Finance Minister for Northern Ireland, Conor Murphy said:

“The Internal Market Bill will give the British Government wide ranging powers to make funding decisions in devolved areas.

“This is greatly concerning and could have huge implications for the Good Friday Agreement. The British Government should not interfere in funding matters which are currently the responsibility of the Devolved Administrations.

“It is also imperative that they provide details on the scope of the Shared Prosperity Fund. This will be a vital source of replacement funding for devolved areas and the lack of meaningful engagement to date is extremely disappointing.”


UK Internal Market Bill – Scottish Government consent impossible.

The Scottish Government has said it is impossible to recommend the Scottish Parliament gives consent to the UK Government’s Internal Market bill. (8 Sept 2020)

The bill, which will be published by the UK Government tomorrow, engages the Sewel Convention, and therefore the UK’s constitutional rules require the consent of Holyrood.

(This is an article from The website)

*Above image is direct from Twitter and not hosted on this website:

Constitution Secretary Michael Russell said if the UK Government refuses to respect the will of the Scottish Parliament it will demonstrate once more that the UK’s constitution provides no protection to the devolution settlement and the UK Government can ignore the rules whenever it chooses.

Mr Russell said there is no mechanism to challenge such disregard for accepted practice, demonstrating the UK is “not a genuine partnership of equals”.

Mr Russell said:

“It beggars belief that the UK Government is asking the Scottish Government to recommend consent to the Internal Market Bill. This is not a genuine partnership of equals and we couldn’t recommend consent to a Bill that undermines devolution and the Scottish Parliament, and which, by the UK Government’s own admission, is going to break international law.

“This is a shabby blueprint that will open the door to bad trade deals and unleashes an assault on devolution the like we have not experienced since the Scottish Parliament was established. We cannot, and will not, allow that to happen.

“It will open the door to a race to the bottom on food standards, environmental standards and will endanger key public health policies such as minimum unit pricing. It will also deliver a hammer blow to the Scottish economy by making it harder for the UK Government to conclude Free Trade agreements if other countries think the UK won’t meet its obligations.

“As each day passes, it becomes clearer that the people of Scotland deserve the right to choose a better direction, to determine their own future. That is why, before the end of this parliament, we will set out the terms of a future independence referendum clearly and unambiguously to the people of Scotland, in a draft referendum bill.”

Article Source:

New medical facility in Glasgow named after Scottish First World War Nurse

NHS Louisa Jordan

The new NHS Scotland medical facility being created at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) in Glasgow is the NHS Louisa Jordan.

(This article is from the website)

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman announced the temporary hospital will be named after Sister Louisa Jordan, a First World War nurse who died on active service in Serbia in 1915 while providing much-needed care to an area of dire need as part of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals for Foreign Services.

Born in Maryhill, Glasgow, Louisa Jordan signed up to the war effort in December 1914 while working as a Queen’s nurse in Buckhaven, Fife. She is commemorated on the Buckhaven War Memorial and at Wilton Church in Glasgow. The people of Serbia gather each year to commemorate the courage and sacrifice of Sister Jordan and her colleagues.

Ms Freeman said:

“Sister Louisa Jordan, born just a couple of miles north of the SEC in Glasgow’s Maryhill, served with great bravery and distinction in the Scottish Women’s Hospital in Serbia during World War 1. She is a person who has perhaps up until now been better remembered in Serbia than in Scotland. This hospital is a fitting tribute to her service and her courage.

“I want to thank the many clinical, operational and construction staff who have been on site at the SEC alongside the army, developing this new temporary hospital. Their work will ensure that, if required, this facility will provide extra capacity for NHS Scotland.

“I hope this new hospital will not be needed – but we must prepare for every eventuality. The public’s contributed efforts to stay at home, in addition to the other measures implemented and the steps we are already taking to increase capacity within existing hospitals are all aimed at making sure NHS Scotland can cope with the expected surge in patients. NHS Louisa Jordan will ensure there is even further capacity if needed.”

Article Source:


The emergency facility announced by the First Minister will be run by NHS Scotland. It will initially create capacity for 300 extra hospital beds, with the ability to expand to over 1,000 if required.


The story of Louisa Jordan – SEC emergency hospital named after heroic Maryhill nurse

Scot Gov Corona Virus Update 16/03/20

People advised to limit social contact

(16/0320) Those most at risk strongly advised to reduce unnecessary contact.

To slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) the general public are being asked to stay at home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary social contact.

People over 70 and those who have high risk and underlying health conditions are being strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible and significantly reduce unnecessary social contact.

The advice is that people should:

minimise social contact by avoiding crowded areas and large gatherings, including religious congregations and smaller gatherings such as restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs, cinemas and gyms
avoid using public transport as much as possible
work from home when possible
follow the latest health and travel advice, and follow basic hygiene precautions, such as washing hands frequently, not touching their face and covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing

People showing symptoms suggestive of coronavirus should stay at home for seven days and only contact NHS 111 or their local GP if their symptoms worsen during that period.

Members of a household where someone has suspected symptoms should stay at home for 14 days.

This package of necessary measures comes into force with immediate effect.

Schools will remain open for the time being, however this decision will be consistently monitored and reviewed depending on the spread of the infection. Those who cannot work from home should continue to go to work unless advised by their employer or if they display symptoms.

These measures will be kept under constant review as we try to slow down the spread of the infection.

The First Minister said:

“Life as we know it will change in the coming weeks and months, but our goal is to protect lives.

“We are facing an unprecedented situation that will require major societal change if we are to protect people, especially those most at risk and our NHS.

“The package of measures we are announcing today is based on scientific and clinical advice. While it will cause some disruption and be difficult for us all, it will help us to prepare for the virus and to protect ourselves and each other in the long run.

“We need your help to slow the spread of the infection. That is why we are advising everyone in Scotland to restrict their social contact and to stay at home as much as possible. We are strongly advising those who are over 70 or have an underlying health condition to stay at home.

“People have a vital role to play in helping us contain this infection and I urge everyone in Scotland to follow the latest health and travel advice, and follow basic hygiene precautions, such as washing hands frequently, not touching their face and covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

“This has not been an easy decision but it is vital if we are to stop the spread of the infection.”


Public should only contact GP or NHS 111 if symptoms worsen.


For those under 70 underlying health conditions refers to all those eligible for the flu vaccine. Those who have compromised immune systems will be contacted with specific advice in the coming days.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman will update the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 17 March on the Scottish Government’s plans to build up and scale up capacity in Scotland’s National Health Service.

Read the COVID-19 Guidance for Non-Healthcare Settings.

Further additional guidance and information, including links to guidance for travellers and the general public, can also be found on HPS’ COVID-19 page.

The latest numbers of test results are published at 2pm each day on the Scottish Government website.

Common symptoms of coronavirus include:
• fever or a temperature of above 37.8°C
• persistent cough

Updates on public health advice for coronavirus can be found on the NHS Inform website, and a free helpline has been set up for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice: 0800 028 2816.