Scottish Chambers of Commerce respond to the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Update

Commenting on the First Minister’s Covid-19 update, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:

“Businesses will welcome the changes that the Scottish Government have made to the self-isolation requirements.

“These changes should have a positive impact on businesses ability to operate and allow employees to return to work safely, whilst also safeguarding public health.

“Additionally, greater alignment and an enhanced four-nations approach towards testing is a positive step in the right direction and many businesses who were struggling due to staff shortages will now be able to open their doors again.”

On financial support for businesses:

“The announcement of additional targeted funding for some of the hardest hit sectors of our economy is welcome, however, the financial support being made available still falls considerably short of the losses businesses have incurred over the festive period due to the enhanced Omicron restrictions and guidance that remain in place.

“It’s vital that the Scottish Government and local authority partners now keep their foot on the accelerator to ensure that financial support is paid out as a matter of urgency.

“Scotland’s businesses need to see restrictions lifted as soon as possible and we urge the Scottish Government to go further and faster in their removal as part of the next three-week review.”

On home working:

“Businesses and employees want to see a clear end date for the current working from home requirements.

“Protecting staff morale and supporting employee’s health and wellbeing is reliant on giving them options on where they want to work.

“Offices are a vital part of our town and city centre economies and without the return of office worker footfall, businesses are continuing to suffer, leading to job losses and permanent closures.

“Businesses, in consultation with our employees, are best placed to take decisions on safe office return and hybrid working plans, and it’s important that Government enable this again as soon as practicable.”

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