LiveCoronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Nicola Sturgeon offers new shielding guidance as Boris Johnson visits Scotland

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Nicola Sturgeon has urged Scots to ‘think carefully’ about overseas travel, adding that there was no certainty about the travel status of various countries.

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Edinburgh pulls plug on world famous Hogmanay street party

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The National Records of Scotland released data showing there were six reported deaths in the last week that had coronavirus mentioned on the death certificate-the lowest weekly fatalities for 12 weeks.

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE

Covid-19 cases linked to Lanarkshire call centre have risen to 20.

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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Follow here for all Thursday’s updates

Last updated: Thursday, 23 July, 2020, 14:17

  • Edinburgh has officially cancelled its world famous Hogmanay party
  • Child domestic abuse reports rise in Scotland
  • Nicola Sturgeon has urges Scots to ‘think carefully’ about overseas travel

John Swinney - £50 million will be handed to councils for additional teachers and support staff.

English councils urged to exercise restraint over debts built up during Covid-19 crisis

Councils should exercise restraint in collecting council tax debts built up during the coronavirus crisis, peers have been told.

Cabinet Office minister Lord True said local authorities should be sensitive when the ban on bailiff collections comes to an end next month.

He was responding to cross-party concerns at question time in the Lords over the handling of spiralling council tax debt.

Labour's Lord Wood of Anfield said more than 1.3 million households are estimated to have built up council tax debts due to Covid-19.

"They will be counting down the days to August 23 - the day when the bailiffs can arrive, or debt D-Day as a coalition of charities have called it - with complete dread," he said.

He added that the Government could help avert this "disaster" by ensuring local authorities put in place sensible schedules for repayment of council tax debt, without resorting to bailiffs.

Lord True told him: "Local authorities should be sensitive."

The ban on "enforcement visits" due to Covid-19 is due to come to an end in August.

"But I would follow you in urging restraint on all in the current situation," Lord True added.

Independent crossbencher Lord Best said "heavy-handed debt collection processes", principally by some councils owed council tax, are "costly, ineffective and often ruinous for those concerned".

Lord True said this is an area under examination and the Government has recently launched a call for evidence to inform policy.

Tory former Cabinet minister Baroness Morgan of Cotes pointed to the strength of feeling over the issue and asked if there is more the Government can do to encourage, or require, councils to show "appropriate sensitivity".

Lord True said: "Councils should be sympathetic and proportionate to anyone in genuine hardship."

Liberal Democrat Baroness Burt of Solihull urged the Government to postpone the reintroduction of bailiff visits until a new Debt Management Bill could be introduced in Parliament.

FM: There is a case for other countries to allow visitors from Scotland, but not the rest of the UK due to the lower prevalence.

FM: There are things that the UK Gov could learn from Scotland’s handling of Covid-19, and there is a lot that Scotland can learn from others.

The FM also said that she would be happy to talk to Boris Johnson if he ‘stopped in Edinburgh on his way back down the road’

FM: “We will continue to learn lessons where we can get them”

FM has had conversations with the PM on the phone, despite not having any COBRA meetings.

FM does not think that the Covid-19 pandemic showed the ‘sheer might’ of the Union, as the PM said.

FM: “I don’t think any of us should be championing and celebrating the pandemic” as proof of a political point. 

FM : “I do know that Scotland as of now...has a very low prevalence of this virus ... and that is a much lower position in the state of the virus in other parts of the UK that says to me that what we are doing in Scotland is right."

FM: I’ve tried very hard...to have a very collaborative approach with the other governments of the UK ...because I think that’s in all of our interests....but I will be assertive ... about our ability to take our own decisions if it is Scotland’s interests”

FM: Doesn’t think anyone should use Covid-19 as a ‘political campaigning tool’. 

FM: No one has a right to crow or feel satisfied by this. Every leader has to stay focused. 

FM on test and protect: “It does remain the case...that my confidence in test and protect..grows with every day that passes”

FM: “All of us are dependant right now on each others actions”

FM: “So all of us have a part to play in keeping it under control” 

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