Renfrewshire Council

Message from Chief Executive, Sandra Black - 20 November 2020

Good afternoon,

As you'll be aware, from 6pm on Friday 20 November, Renfrewshire and a number of local authority areas in Central Scotland will be moving into Level Four of COVID protective measures.

This decision from the Scottish Government, in consultation with the NHS, is to manage the high rates of positive cases here in Renfrewshire and across much of the West of Scotland. 

You can read more about the changes on the Scottish Government website, however the main changes are that from 6pm tonight, only essential retail will be able to remain open and all hospitality premises, including cafes, pubs and restaurants, will close but take away can continue.

You should stay at home as much as possible, unless for work, shopping and essential travel. From this evening you must not travel into or out of your local authority area unless for a number of exemptions including essential travel for work, education, essential shopping, health appointments, outdoor exercise, shared parenting, and transit through restricted areas. This will become enforceable by law this evening and all staff travelling to and from work must carry council ID with them at all times.

The majority of council services that have restarted will continue with safety measures in place - this includes essential repairs and maintenance and care at home visits. Libraries and gyms will close however, you will still be allowed to meet others outdoors- following the rules on meeting no more than six people from one other household.

Staff who are in the National Shielding group will receive a letter from the Interim Chief Medical Officer this week advising you to minimise contact with people from outside your home if you can. This does not mean if you were previously shielding you should stop coming to work, however I'm very conscious of the concern these changes may cause,  especially for those in the shielding group, so we will also be contacting each of you this week to assure you of the individual risk assessments we've completed as well as the safety measures in place to keep you safe at work, and that we are here to support you through this.

The positive news is that our schools and early learning centres and childcare remain open, albeit with additional protective measures, and informal childcare (in the home) can continue for key workers and those in permitted services. Maintaining support for our children and young people at this time, as well as the vulnerable in our communities, is so important for their wellbeing and I would once again, like to thank all our staff who work so hard to continue to provide quality services that so many in our communities rely on.

I am very aware these temporary measures will be a blow for local businesses and communities, however it's only by sticking together, following the rules and remembering the FACTS and following our workplace guidance, that we can help protect the NHS this winter, one of its most difficult times, and hopefully allow some limited easing of restrictions at Christmas.

That is why it's so important that if you are identified as a close contact and/or you develop symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild, that you self-isolate, book a test as soon as possible and contact your line manager who will provide you with the appropriate support.

Thank you and please, stay safe.