Further update – for Tuesday 30th June – from Councillor Fraser Macpherson (West End) and Councillor Craig Duncan (Broughty Ferry) :
FURTHER RELEASE OF LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS
There is to be further easing of the lockdown. These changes are dependent on the continued suppression of the virus.
From Thursday 2nd July
• Subject to the go ahead of from advisors we may see relaxation of 2 metre physical distancing- based on scientific recommendations. This may see facemasks made mandatory in shops from that date.
From Friday 3rd July
• You can travel for more than five miles for leisure and recreation purposes.
• Self-contained holiday accommodation – for example holiday cottages and lodges, or caravans where there are no shared services – can open. The tourism sector will not open fully until the 15 July.
From Monday 6th July
• Outdoor hospitality such as beer gardens can re-open.
From 10th July
• Households will be able to meet people from more households outdoors.
From 13th July
• Organised outdoor sports for children and young people can resume.
• Non-essential shops within indoor shopping centres will re-open.
From 15th July
• A household will be able to meet indoors with people from up to two other households.
• Indoor locations such as museums, galleries, monuments, cinemas and libraries will also be able to reopen. Tickets must be secured in advance. Theatres, bingo halls, nightclubs, casinos and other ‘live’ entertainment venues will not re-open until a later date.
• Pubs and restaurants will open indoors.
• Hairdressers and barbers will re-open. Other personal retail services will remain closed until a later date.
SCHOOLS TO REOPEN IN AUGUST
It is now the intention for pupils to return to school full time on August 11th.
Willie supports the change. Many parents and pupils will be relieved as it now means children and young people will get the education they need, and we can get back on top of the inequality gap.
However, many teachers, who are already exhausted from the last few months of remote teaching, were taken by surprise and are anxious about what it means for their safety.
Willie has been pressing the government on whether they will have time to adapt to the new arrangements, whether they will have the resources and whether they will be tested. Shielding teachers and pupils also need clarity.
Willie Rennie MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader, has asked repeatedly about childcare, especially over the summer, for thousands of parents returning to work. If parents are being asked by the government to return to work, the government has a duty to ensure there is enough childcare for them.
Willie takes a cautious approach on easing the lockdown because he wants people to be safe but the new plan to ease the lockdown remains disjointed. Parents are being asked to go back to work by the government when childminders and nurseries are limited in capacity until the middle of July.
Outdoor children’s summer clubs and activities will also not be allowed to open for another few weeks. It seems illogical to allow outdoor pubs to open before outdoor summer clubs for children.
He will continue to press the government for a joined-up plan.
RESTARTING MORE HEALTH SERVICES
Willie Rennie MSP has also been making the case for the restart of health services because of the impact delayed operations and treatment has on the health of lots of people. Now progress is being made.
Urgent referrals and triage of routine services in key specialties such as Cardiology, Urology, and Trauma and Orthopaedics, will be resumed gradually.
Health boards will reintroduce any suspended GP services. Patients will be triaged by telephone. There will be a greater use of telephone and video consultations.
From yesterday, health boards are able to gradually resume some screening services including endoscopies and other diagnostic tests.
Also from yesterday all community optometry practices are able to resume seeing patients face-to-face who have emergency and essential eye problems, as well as continuing to manage as many of these patients remotely as possible. The Emergency Eyecare Treatment Centres closes.
From Monday 6th July, health boards will reintroduce some chronic disease management, which could include pain services, diabetic services.
CARE HOME VISITING
Care home residents will be able to receive visitors outside from 3rd July.
A single nominated visitor wearing a face covering face covering can meet a care home resident out of doors.
Controlled indoor visits and wider use of communal areas by residents might be introduced later but only if the home has been COVID-free throughout the pandemic or if all affected residents have fully recovered and no residents have had symptoms for 28 days.
The Government plan to move away from the current position of blanket guidance for all shielding people, to more tailored advice about risk and how to mitigate it.
Willie Rennie MSP asked the Health Secretary this week about advice for those over 70. Many have been shielding when it was not necessary and others have not been careful enough. She said new advice would be published soon.
HEALTH AND CARE STAFF TESTING
Staff who work in specialist cancer services, or provide long-term care for the elderly, as well as staff working in residential mental health, will be offered weekly coronavirus testing from 8th July.
In addition, from June 29th all staff in hospitals and care home who interact with patients or residents will be required to wear a medical face mask throughout their shift. Anyone entering care homes and hospitals will also be asked to wear a face covering throughout. Face coverings will also be required when attending a hospital appointment.
Dental practices will be able to see NHS patients who need urgent care for face-to-face consultation, using procedures which limit the risk of spread of the coronavirus such as non-aerosol generating procedures. This will mean up to an additional 10,000 appointment slots will be available per day across Scotland.
Willie asked the Housing Minister how he was going to keep homelessness down after the pandemic. Great efforts have been made by councils and charities to cut the number of people without a home but we need a long term solution. The minister gave examples of the plans being made and the additional housing capacity built.
B & B HARDSHIP FUND
The new Bed and Breakfast Hardship Fund is designed to support small serviced accommodation providers who have not been able to access support through other government backed schemes as a result of their banking status.
There is new guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector, including procedures for staff and customer safety and an operations checklist.
From yesterday, all home moves are permitted. This includes students moving home and other home moves resulting in two households merging. It also applies to custom and self-builders looking to acquire a plot or a property to renovate or to demolish.
People can leave their homes in order to move home and undertake activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property including:
• visiting estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes
• viewing a residential property to look for a property to buy or rent
• preparing a residential property to move in
• moving home or
• visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property.
People working for relevant organisations and businesses can also travel to work where necessary in order to undertake these activities in a safe manner.
There is new guidance for shops and customers.
BIRTHS, MARRIAGES AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS
From yesterday, you are able to register the birth of your baby. Contact Dundee 435222 or email email@example.com – your name will be added to the list in order and the team will make an appointment for you in due course.
Also from yesterday, marriage and civil partnership ceremonies can take place outdoors, with up to a maximum of eight people and observing physical distancing measures.
Covid community helpline for food, shopping, prescriptions, finances, personal care: People in Dundee on the shielded list only – 0300 123 1403. People in Dundee who are vulnerable but not on the shielded list – 0800 111 4000
Helpline for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice Tel: 0800 028 2816.
Helpline for small businesses, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm. Tel: 0300 303 0660.
SUPPORT AND ADVICE
This is an anxious and uncertain time but we want you to know that we are here to try to help constituents in whatever way that we can.
WEST END WARD – Bailie Fraser Macpherson
Phone – Dundee 459378 (home)