We continue to provide critical services which are currently operating without issue.
Early Learning and Childcare
We are on track to deliver 1140 early learning and childcare hours in August 2020, should national guidance on this change as anticipated on 30 July. These increased hours would be delivered within the funding allocated by the Scottish Government. Where a building programme is ongoing or not completed, there will be a limited range of options (session times) for parents in some areas. Full details on the approach to early learning and childcare, including information on the current status of building works, can be found here.
Due to the continuing low levels of COVID-19 infection in Scotland, residents who have been shielding will no longer have to do so from Saturday 1 August. Those affected will receive a letter from the Chief Medical Officer outlining the updated guidance and details about the pause in shielding. A SMS Shielding Service has been set up for the latest updates about shielding, which residents can join by sending a text to 0786 006 4525. The Scottish Government is also developing a COVID-19 forecasting service for shielding. This will allow people who have been shielding to sign up to an SMS update that tells them about their risk of being exposed to COVID-19 in their local area. You can read the latest shielding guidance here.
Test and Protect
The Scottish Government issued updated guidance on Test and Protect on 21 July. This guidance states that in order to self-isolate safely and effectively under Test and Protect, in exceptional circumstances, a person may be advised to separate from the rest of their household.
- This may be best achieved through provision of alternative isolation accommodation for the individual, or by relocation of their household contacts.
- Most people will be able to self-isolate effectively in their own homes, and isolation accommodation should only be considered on an exceptional basis.
- Any decision to facilitate moving someone out of their home would have to be informed by multi-agency decision making, and in keeping with the wishes of all individuals concerned.
- Isolation accommodation is for the purpose of allowing safe and effective self-isolation, and some hostel-style accommodation may not be appropriate.
Test and Protect guidance places significant reliance on local authorities regarding the provision of ‘out of hours’ services and accommodation to support people under the circumstances outlined above. We are therefore developing an approach to manage this which is being led by the Housing Service.
Letter to social housing tenants from the Minister for Local Government Housing and Planning
Kevin Stewart MSP has written an open letter to social housing tenants which provides information and advice following the publication in May of Scotland’s Route Map for moving out of the crisis.
The letter includes a range of support, information and signposting for individuals and families in Scotland as we move through the different phases of easing restrictions. The letter has been publicised to South Ayrshire tenants via social media and our website and can be viewed here.
The reporting of routine repairs resumed as of Thursday 23 July. Tenants have been advised to follow the normal reporting process, where they will be given an appointment on or after Monday 3 August.
All public toilets across South Ayrshire have now re-opened. They remain free to access at the moment and will be open from 10.00am until 6.00pm Monday to Sunday, with the exception of Barassie, Girvan Harbour, Maybole and Arthur Street in Ayr, which will be open 24hrs. In order to ensure physical distancing, it has been necessary to limit the number of cubicles and sinks available for use in some of our facilities. Regular enhanced cleaning will be in place at each facility throughout the day. You can find more information here.
Business Support Grants
We have now paid £22.6 million in business support grants to local businesses.
We continue to work through the remaining cases, which number fewer than 100. Of these, the majority of applicants need to provide further information to enable us to verify their application. Applications for the scheme closed at 5.00pm on 10 July 2020.
Support For Local Businesses
The Economic Development team launched the 11th issue of their ‘Business Beat’ e-magazine this week. This issue has been created in partnership with Trading Standards and Environmental Health and provides information for local businesses on complying with current guidance. The e-magazine can be viewed here.
We continue to post information and updates through the local media, in hard copy, on a range of social media channels such as South Ayrshire Council Live Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and on our website.