Scottish Government’s new five-level Covid framework


23rd October 2020

At today’s media briefing the First Minister outlined the Scottish Government’s new five-level framework which will allow for a refreshed strategic approach to suppressing Coronavirus outbreaks across Scotland.

The framework indicates different levels of protection that might be needed based on different levels of transmission for the virus. It will allow for rapid but proportionate responses on both a local and national basis using a transparent range of measures and options. The framework will comprise of five protection levels:

· Level 0 is effectively the same level of protection as the Route Map Phase 3 measures Scotland reached in August and will act as a baseline.
· Levels 1, 2 and 3 will be broadly equivalent to the UK Government levels to offer some uniformity with measures south of the border.

Link to Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland's Strategic Framework published today.

Link to the First Minister’s full statement

Link to strategic framework press release.

Link to financial support press release.

The Draft Strategic Framework will be debated at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 27th Oct. If passed (highly likely), it will come into force on 2nd November.

The Chamber network will be providing feedback to government from our local businesses. If you would like to send in your thoughts, please email

Initial summary

Moving to a strategic approach to outbreak management based on five levels of protection. The document aims to provide a more transparent and understandable framework for managing outbreaks and allow rapid but proportionate responses to be taken – locally or nationally – using a range of measures and options.

The framework aims to give the capacity to respond on a national basis if required, but also to avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach if it is not: one part of the country with low rates of infection does not have to live with the level of protective measures designed to suppress the virus in areas with much higher rates.

The tiers and decision-making will be based on the four harms evidence. The five protection levels consist of four levels above the Route Map Phase 3 baseline (or ‘Level 0’). They are designed to achieve progressively stronger effects in suppressing the virus. It is possible to move up and down.

Latest information on business support

· A grant of £2,000 or £3,000 (depending on rateable value) for business required to close by law, payable every four weeks for the duration protective measures are in place

· A hardship grant of £1,400 or £2100 (depending on rateable value) for businesses that remain open but are specifically required to modify their operations by protective measures, payable every four weeks for the duration measures are in place

· These grants will be provided regardless of level, to eligible businesses, and paid in fortnightly instalments (subject to discussions with local authorities) SG expect this bespoke support to be supplemented by UK Government support, not least the revised Job Retention Scheme launching on 1 November.

· Financial support will be made available as levels are reviewed, and SG will work with local authorities to ensure a quick and efficient local delivery mechanism for this support. SG say that they will also continue to engage with specific sectors who have may face unique impacts.

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