Covid-19 briefing: Monday 20 December 2021

Guidance on reducing the risks in schools

The Scottish Government has issued updated guidance for schools. 

Key changes to the previous guidance that will be introduced are:

  • A strengthened approach to minimising contacts, primarily through the reintroduction of groupings where practicable indoors
  • Tightened restrictions on school visitors, including a return to parent councils and other activities being precluded from operating on the school estate
  • Updated guidance on the required approach to ventilation and CO2 monitoring, including clarification of some key points based on user feedback
  • Updated text on asymptomatic testing, specifically the processes to be followed when distributing test kits
  • A strengthened approach to self-isolation for high risk / household contacts, whereby they are required to self-isolate for 10 days regardless of age, vaccination status or a negative PCR result
  • Details relating to school staff eligibility for exemption from self-isolation under the critical worker guidance
  • An update to guidance on school visits and trips in order to reflect the above ‘in school’ mitigations
  • A requirement that schools and local authorities continue to provide essential in-person support for particular groups (including vulnerable children and young people) in the event of temporary school closures at a local level
  • Minor updates across the annexes to bring material up to date

The Coronavirus (covid-19) Guidance on reducing the risks in schools is available at:

December and January Business Support Top Up

The Scottish Government has announced how a £100m fund to support business will be allocated:

The £100 million support package is broken down into:

  • £66 million for eligible hospitality businesses
  • £20 million for the culture sector
  • £8 million for food and drink supply chain businesses including wholesalers
  • £3 million for the wedding sector
  • £3 million for the worst affected businesses in the tourism sector, including international inbound tour operators

Eligible businesses that previously received support through the Strategic Framework Business Fund (SFBF) will be contacted directly by their local authority.

Further information will be published week beginning Monday 20 December 2021 and grants will be administered by the following organisations:

  • hospitality – local authorities
  • wedding sector supply chain – enterprise agencies
  • wholesalers affected by hospitality cancellations – Scottish Government
  • tourism sector – VisitScotland
  • culture sector – Creative Scotland

Find Business Support website:

Fit note: guidance for patients and employees

Temporary changes have been made to the use of ‘fit notes’ to give GPs more time to work on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) booster programme.

The fit not guide for patients and employees is published at:

It highlights that for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), where employees go off sick employers can only ask employees for proof of sickness (such as a fit note) after 28 days of sickness (including non-working days). Proof of sickness cannot be requested earlier than 28 days.

Fit notes do not have to be provided for DWP benefit claims until 27 January. This will not affect claims to benefit.

This means self-certification for illness related time off work (sick leave) has been extended from 7 days to 28 days.  The regulations are due to expire on 26 January 2022.

Drop-in vaccination centres

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde drop in vaccination centres running this week can be attended without an appointment::

Tuesday 21 December 2021

  • Hampden Stadium - Open 7.00pm until 9.00pm
  • Lagoon Leisure Centre, Paisley - Open 7.00pm until 9.00pm

Wednesday 22 December 2021

  • Barmulloch Community Centre - Open 9.30am until 5.30pm
  • Hampden Stadium - Open 7.00pm until 9.00pm

Thursday 23 December 2021

  • Lagoon Leisure Centre, Paisley - Open 7.00pm until 9.00pm
  • Port Glasgow Town Hall - Open 9.30am until 5.30pm
  • Hampden Stadium - Open 7.00pm until 9.00pm

Covid Vaccine Centre Updates:

Booster vaccination bookings:

Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing

Regularly taking LFD tests before going out, going to work or meeting with others is important to minimise the spread of Covid 19. If your LFD test comes back positive, you must immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test. A positive LFD test means there is a strong likelihood you have Covid-19 and are infectious. You should not go out to work or shopping and your family should also self-isolate with you.

Lateral flow devices are available online for home delivery and are available from community pharmacies and local testing sites.

A limited supply lateral flow device test kits are available to pick up at:

  • Holy Family Church, Port Glasgow
  • New Parish Church, Port Glasgow
  • Lyle Kirk, Greenock
  • St Partricks Church, Greenock
  • St Mary’s Church, Greenock
  • St Joseph’s church, Greenock
  • West Kirk, Greenock
  • Tesco, Greenock
  • St John’s Church, Gourock
  • Cardwell Garden Centre, Gourock

It is important if you take a lateral flow device test that you record the information with the NHS (the pack shows you how to do this). This helps them to track to rate of infection across the country.

Check your symptoms:

Coronavirus testing:

Reminder: Covid helpline available

Inverclyde residents continue to be supported by the Council’s Covid-19 Helpline. Assistance can be provided on a wide range of support including food and fuel provision, financial advice and wellbeing. The helpline is available Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm over the festive period. Call 01475 715275 to speak to an advisor.