Coronavirus: Helpline set up to provide advice to companies

A helpline has been launched to provide businesses in Scotland with advice and guidance on the coronavirus COVID-19.

The business helpline number is 0300 303 0660.

The helpline is open Monday to Friday, between 8.30am and 5.30pm.

Based at Scottish Enterprise’s call centre, advisers will answer questions from businesses, and will also help the Scottish Government identify the current challenges facing businesses.

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Last week, the First Minister confirmed that the Scottish and UK Governments were moving from the containment phase to delay, and that large gatherings of over 500 people are to be cancelled to support the resilience of emergency services.

The Chief Medical Officer has advised people with mild symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 including continuing coughing, or a fever or a temperature of above 37.8 should self-isolate for seven days.

Those who have been in contact with someone who is experiencing symptoms should only self-isolate if they begin to experience symptoms.

During a meeting with representatives from Scotland’s business support organisations, including the STUC, Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop stressed the importance of everyone following the latest COVID-19 advice.

Ms Hyslop said: “Scotland is well-prepared for a significant outbreak of coronavirus but people have a vital role to play in helping us contain any outbreak by following the latest health and travel advice.

“This situation presents a significant risk to global and domestic economic activity.

“That is why we are launching a business helpline which will provide companies with the support and guidance they need to respond appropriately.

“We continue to work closely with our partners to identify what further support businesses need.

“For example, the Minister for Local Government and Planning and the Chief Planner wrote to all planning authorities encouraging them to relax their approach to the enforcement of planning restrictions on shop delivery times and opening hours.

“I also chaired a meeting with representatives from Scotland’s business support organisations to hear their concerns and provide reassurance that the Scottish Government will do everything in its power to protect the workforce, businesses and our economy.

“I’d also encourage everyone to refer to the new guidance on COVID-19 that includes workplace advice on reducing the spread of infection.”

The business helpline number is 0300 303 0660.