LiveCoronavirus in Scotland RECAP: Travel restrictions lifted around Gretna, Dumfries and Annan

The latest updates on coronavirus in Scotland.

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The latest updates on coronavirus in Scotland.

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: The latest updates on Tuesday

Last updated: Tuesday, 07 July, 2020, 18:45

  • One new Covid-19 death recorded on Tuesday
  • Barrhead Travel announces redundancies due to impact of coronavirus
  • One in seven Brits face unemployment in second Covid-19 wave

Lessons from Covid-19 could shape more resilient future tax system, minister says

The speed at which the Treasury set up the flagship furlough scheme could be a model for future reforms of the tax system, a minister has said.

The latest figures show that 9.4 million workers have been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) since March, at a cost of £27.4 billion to taxpayers, while the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has paid out £7.7 billion.

Treasury minister Jesse Norman said the speed at which these were set up was "exemplar".

Everyone should wear a face covering in public, says Royal Society president

Everyone should wear a face covering in public to reduce the risk of a second wave of Covid-19 infections, the president of the Royal Society has urged.

Professor Venki Ramakrishnan said people should wear a mask when they leave home - particularly in enclosed indoor spaces - but acknowledged that the public remain "sceptical" about the benefits.

Not wearing them outside the home should be considered as "anti-social" as drink-driving, or failing to wear a seat belt, he said.

It comes as two new reports on face coverings were published by the scientific body, including one which found the UK was slower to take up wearing them compared with other countries.

Prof Ramakrishnan said: "The virus has not been eliminated, so, as we lift lockdown and people increasingly interact with each other, we need to use every tool we have to reduce the risk of a second wave of infection.

"There are no silver bullets, but alongside hand washing and physical distancing, we also need everyone to start wearing face coverings, particularly indoors in enclosed public spaces where physical distancing is often not possible."

Kirsten Oswald elected as SNP Westminster Deputy Leader

East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald has been elected unopposed as the new SNP Westminster Deputy Leader.

Mrs Oswald, who won the seat from the Conservatives in the 2019 general election, will join Ian Blackford in leading the SNPs in Westminster.

Kirsty Blackman stepped down from the post last week, citing the impact of lockdown on her mental health.

Mrs Oswald said she was delighted to have been elected.

She added: "As we continue to tackle coronavirus, SNP MPs will press the UK Government to deliver the financial powers and support that people, public services and businesses in Scotland need to manage this unprecedented emergency and secure a strong recovery.

"This crisis has exposed the deep inequality caused by decades of Westminster cuts. There can be no return to business as normal. As Scotland seeks to build a fairer society and escape the growing threat of a Tory Brexit, the case for independence has never been stronger."

SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford said he was looking forward to working with her in Westminster, to provide a strong voice for Scotland.

Campers charged over damage at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

More than 20 people have been charged over environmental damage at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park over the weekend.

Campers left behind broken glass and black bags full of rubbish, as well as camping equipment such as chairs and sleeping bags.

Irreparable fire damage was caused, with one tree so badly burned it is likely to be felled.

At one site, 19 bags of litter were collected, with a further 10 removed from another site.

National guidance in Scotland ordered people to not start camping until July 15, when the next phase of lockdown restrictions are lifted.

UK Government strategy should aim to eradicate Covid-19, experts say

The Government's current strategy to deal with coronavirus is "inadequate" and should be replaced with the aim of eradicating the virus from the UK, leading scientists have said.

Dr Gabriel Scally, professor of public health at the University of Bristol, said that the "firm" measures taken across the UK have been successful in curbing the "enormous" death toll but had not succeeded in eliminating the virus.

He said that that the current strategy of the UK Government appeared to be containing the virus at its current level and tackling outbreaks as they flare up, he added.

But, speaking at a BMJ online discussion on Tuesday, the member of Independent Sage said this was "inadequate" and that the Government had consistently failed to heed "broad-based scientific advice".

English pubs praised for opting to shut after drinkers test positive for Covid-19

Three pubs which opted to shut after coronavirus cases were identified among their drinkers on the weekend have come in for praise from the Health Secretary.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Matt Hancock heralded the trio's example as evidence that the test and trace system was working.

The Lighthouse in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, the Fox and Hounds in Batley, West Yorkshire, and the Village Home in Gosport, Hampshire, reopened on what was dubbed "super Saturday" but have decided to close again after being notified of punters since testing positive for Covid-19.

Saturday marked the first time pubs, restaurants and cafes had been permitted to allow customers to eat and drink on the premises since March following the easing of lockdown restrictions for the hospitality sector in England.

Mr Hancock told MPs the pubs were "doing the right thing by their customers and by their communities".

A third of BAME-led TV companies facing financial hardship, research suggests

Around a third of TV production companies led by professionals from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background are struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research.

The study, which was carried out by Birmingham City University's Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, found that nearly half of such organisations are worse off as a result of the pandemic.

The research also suggests that 29% of the companies are either in "financial distress" or "financial crisis".

The vast majority of the BAME-led companies, which was defined as one with a chief executive, managing director or other senior leader from a BAME background, have not applied for Government support, according to the study.

‘Protect the NHS branding’ may have put some people off seeking urgent medical care, says medic

The "Stay Home, Protect The NHS, Save Lives" branding employed by the Government at the start of the coronavirus pandemic may have put some people off seeking urgent care, one medic has said.

Consultant cardiologist Sukhjinder Nijjer said that after seeing the advertising people may have been trying to "avoid using health services unnecessarily".

But they may also have been worried about coming into contact with the virus in clinical environments, he told a Royal Society of Medicine briefing on Covid-19.

Evidence is emerging from other countries of a "huge reduction" in the number of patients presenting to hospital with heart attacks, said Dr Nijjer.

Nicola Sturgeon won’t be rushed into air bridges decision

Nicola Sturgeon has told Scots hoping to enjoy a summer break abroad that she will not simply rubber-stamp UK Government plans to allow quarantine-free travel.

It comes after airport bosses accused her of "dithering" on whether air bridges could be introduced - allowing people to travel overseas to some countries and then return home without needing to self-isolate for 14 days.

The tourism sector has already warned delays could lead to more job losses, with operator Barrhead Travel having confirmed on Monday it will be making redundancies as a "direct result of the impact of Covid-19".

The UK Government has already announced a list of countries English holidaymakers can visit without self-isolating on their return, including popular short-haul destinations such as Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, as well as places farther afield like Australia, Barbados, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Vietnam.

Ms Sturgeon said she hopes such arrangements will be possible for Scots looking to travel to low-risk countries, although she added "there is a still a process of analysis and assessment we have to complete".

Bands call on Scottish Government to support music business ‘before it’s too late'

Bands including Biffy Clyro and Primal Scream are among signatories to a letter calling on the Scottish Government to support music businesses "before it is too late".

The newly established Scottish Commercial Music Industry Taskforce has written to Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop calling for more money for the music industry, clarity on arts funding and a timeline for venues reopening without social distancing.

Other artists who have put their name to the letter include KT Tunstall, Mogwai, The Proclaimers, Texas and Simple Minds.

It is also backed by the organisers of festivals including TRNSMT and Belladrum, plus venues such as the Barrowlands, the SEC and Edinburgh Corn Exchange.

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