Local MSP Gordon Macdonald has released his latest update containing information and updates on the Coronavirus and the lockdown.
Use of Face Coverings
The evidence on the use of face coverings is limited, but there may be some benefit in wearing a facial covering when you leave the house and enter enclosed spaces, for example traveling on public transport or entering a food shop where it is not always possible to maintain a 2 metre distance from another customer’
As some people can have the virus but experience no symptoms (asymptomatic infection), wearing a face covering in the situations outlined above may provide some level of protection against transmission to other people in close proximity.
By face coverings we do not mean the wearing of a surgical or other medical grade mask but a facial covering of the mouth and nose, that is made of cloth or other textiles and through which you can breathe, for example a scarf.
When applying or removing the covering, it is important that you wash your hands first and avoid touching your face. After each use, you must wash the face covering at 60 degrees centigrade or dispose of safely. Face coverings should not be used for children under the age of two years.
However, it remains the case that anyone with symptoms and all members of their household (whether they have symptoms or not), must self-isolate and adhere to the guidance on individual and household isolation on NHS Inform.
Current rules on social distancing remain the most important
They are that you should only leave the house for the following very limited purposes:
- for basic necessities, such as food and medicine. Trips must be as infrequent as possible
- daily exercise, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
- to ensure basic animal welfare needs are met, including taking dogs out when necessary
- any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home
These reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home, and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
If you receive Tax Credits
This is a really important point. If you receive Tax Credits and are considering claiming Universal Credit. Applying for Universal Credit will mean that your tax credit claim will end immediately. It isn’t possible to re-open a tax credit claim once it has closed.
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COVID-19 Research Projects Funding
Almost £5 million of Scottish Government funding will benefit research projects to increase the understanding of coronavirus, screen potential treatments and support clinical trials. The money will support 55 rapid research projects in 15 Scottish universities and research institutions, contributing to global efforts to combat the virus and its wider effects, including research to:
- better understand the effects of infection;
- develop and test new diagnostics and treatments;
- investigate new disease surveillance approaches;
- inform interventions to prevent transmission of infection;
- support the mental health of frontline health and social care workers;
- understand the physical and mental health implications of lockdown measures.