FSB in Scotland on lockdown extension

Scotland’s stay-at-home lockdown will continue for another month, Ministers have announced. However, the First Minister has stated that primary schools and nurseries will re-open to the youngest children from 22 February.

Andrew McRae, the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Scotland policy chair, said: “Another lockdown extension heaps more pressure on debt-laden Scottish businesses, with many firms considering whether they should shut up shop for good. To minimise the number of business failures, Ministers need to outline their provisional re-opening timetable and provide new support to firms that have had little or no help throughout this crisis.

“On the other hand, today’s announcement lifts a little weight from the shoulders of parents of the youngest children in Scotland. It means by the end of the month fewer workers and self-employed people will have to juggle childcare with other responsibilities.”

The First Minister also indicated that officials were looking to extend Scotland’s coronavirus testing regime.

Andrew McRae said: “This crisis has a taken a disproportionate toll on Scotland’s small business community, so these operators cannot be forgotten as Ministers look to provide more routine tests for at-risk sectors.”