• Kenneth Gibson MSP

First Minister announces Further COVID Guidelines and Increase in Business Support Funding


On 21 December, the SNP Government announced a number of new restrictions in an attempt to curb rising Omicron cases and a further £100 million which will be allocated to support businesses affected by the current public health guidelines.


From 5am on 26 December, attendance at large events will be limited to 100 people for indoor standing events, to 200 people for indoor seated events, and to 500 people for all outdoor events.


Furthermore, from 5am on 27 December, one metre physical distancing will be introduced between all adults in indoor hospitality and leisure settings and table service will be required in settings where alcohol is served for consumption on the premises.


Furthermore, the First Minister emphasised the importance of getting vaccinated, urging everyone to ensure they visit a drop-in centre or make a booking for their first, second or booster dose before the New Year.


A fund of £375 million is now available to ensure hospitality businesses are supported due to the unavoidable impact of the Omicron variant. The December and January Business Support Top Up – Hospitality will provide financial support to businesses in the hospitality sector affected by the latest public health advice if registered as one of the following:


• Public Houses • Restaurants • Cafes • Other licensed premises classed as hospitality • Nightclubs • Hotels with bars and restaurants

The grant is a one-off payment at the rate of:

• £4,500 for premises which have a rateable value of up to and including £51,000, or • £6,800 for premises that have a rateable value of £51,001 or above

Local authorities will make contact with eligible businesses between now and the end of January and applications will close on 31 January 2022.


Kenneth said:


“I’m pleased that the SNP Government has allocated a further £100 million of funding to support hospitality businesses during this difficult time, taking the package of business support to £375 million.


“It is essential that everyone follows the new guidelines to ensure that we limit the rising number of Omicron cases.


“I urge everyone to stay at home as much as possible over the festive period, continue to take Lateral Flow Tests before you leave the house and to book a vaccination appointment as soon as possible.”


For further information on the new guidelines click here.


For further information on the December and January Business Support Top Up – Hospitality, click here.


ENDS