Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for individuals and businesses in Scotland

Use this page to navigate the guidance on the virus for people in Scotland.

Individuals and families

Health

Read the latest information on COVID-19 from Health Protection Scotland.

Find out about the latest advice on Scotland’s NHS Inform and use the Coronavirus COVID-19 Symptom Checker.

Public Health England has published guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK, as well as advice to protect older and vulnerable people.

Also read the stay-at-home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

Guidance for employees

Read all the latest guidance and frequently asked questions for employees including details about statutory sick pay, accessing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to cover 80% of your wage and Universal Credit.

Sickness and disability benefits

Face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits will be temporarily suspended for the next 3 months from Tuesday 17 March.

No further action is required by any claimant as a result of this change. They will be contacted with advice on next steps.

Travel

Find out all the latest travel advice and sign up for travel alerts via the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) website.

Education

Find the latest information on school closures and exams on the Scottish Government website.

Community support

Businesses

The UK Government has announced that all non-essential businesses must close.

General guidance for employers

The UK Government has published extensive guidance for employers of all sizes and types, including details on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and what to do if someone is suspected or confirmed to have the virus.

UK Government support for businesses

The UK Government has set out a package of measures to protect public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

Businesses in Scotland could benefit from the following schemes and announcements:

  1. Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees.

  2. Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme via the British Business Bank. The scheme will be interest free for 12 months.

  3. Support for businesses paying tax. from HMRC.

  4. Businesses will receive government grants worth up to 80% of wages to keep workers in jobs. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will pay up to £2,500 per worker each month, helping those who are self-isolating or caring for loved ones.

  5. VAT payments for the next quarter will be deferred, so no business will pay any VAT for the next three months.

  6. The Self-employment Income Support Scheme will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Scottish Government support for businesses

The Scottish Government has announced a package of measures worth £2.2 billion to support Scottish businesses.

Changes have been made to business rates in Scotland for 2020-2021 along with extra rates relief.

Businesses in Scotland can apply to the Business Support Fund for a grant to help them deal with the impact of the outbreak.

Business can use the Scottish Enterprise business support finder to find out what is available to them.

Business support helplines

HMRC has set up a helpline for businesses and self-employed people across the UK who are concerned about paying their tax due to COVID-19. You can now call them on 08000 241222. Opening hours are from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

If you run a business in Scotland you can also get advice by calling the Scottish Government’s helpline: 0300 303 0660. It is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm. Select option 1 to speak to the COVID-19 team.

How you can help

The UK Government is looking for businesses who might be able to help with the response to coronavirus.

Published 23 March 2020
Last updated 30 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added the Scottish Government's business support helpline number.

  2. Updated UK Government business support links

  3. Updated to include the Self-employment Income Support Scheme

  4. Updated to reflect HMRC's new helpline number and opening hours.

  5. Updated with latest UK Government advice on business closures and the opening of the Scottish Government's Business Support Fund.

  6. First published.