Financial support for those forced to self-isolate in the works

The First Minister said plans were underway to introduce a support package.

Those forced to self-isolate will be given financial support by the Scottish Government

People forced to self-isolate due to Covid-19 will be offered financial support, the First Minister has said.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing on Monday, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the additional assistance but said the details have yet to be finalised.

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She said new lockdown restrictions will be announced this week to tackle a spike in cases.

Extra help is necessary, the First Minister said, to ensure people do not feel they need to break isolation to work to support their families or pay their bills.

She said: “Self-isolation is a key tool in our fight against this virus, it helps us break the chains of transmission, so we must make it as possible as we can for people to abide by that advice.

“Nobody should be forced to choose between self-isolating for the common good and paying their rent and feeding their families – if that’s the choice people face, then it shouldn’t be a surprise to us that compliance levels are lower than we need it to be.”

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie MSP welcomed the promise of a support package for people who have to self-isolate, saying it is essential to protect people in insecure employment from losing their jobs “for simply complying with the rules”.

Mr Harvie added: “It’s clear that the UK furlough scheme must be extended, too.

“The warning from the UK chief medical officer and chief scientific officer shows that it may take at least six months to get on top of this outbreak and it would be utterly irresponsible to end financial support for people during that time.”

The financial assistance was the only measure confirmed at the briefing, with discussions continuing with advisers and ministers over what else will be done.

A statement is expected to be made at Holyrood on Tuesday or Wednesday, with the First Minister saying she would like to see close alignment on measures with the rest of the UK.

A Cobra meeting has been announced for Tuesday morning, with leaders of the devolved nations set to attend.

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