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News Archive

Travel Restrictions Update: South Africa Ban Extended, Israel (and Jerusalem) Removed From Travel Corridors List
From 4am Saturday 9 January, people arriving in England from Botswana, Israel (and Jerusalem), Mauritius or Seychelles will need to self-isolate.   travel restrictions extended to southern African countries from 4am Saturday 9 January (2021) to protect against the spread of a new COVID-19 variant initially detected in South Africa.  
New Businesses Launched By Jobseekers In Scotland
A decade of UK Government support leads to more than 13,000 new businesses launched by jobseekers in Scotland.   New figures published today show between April 2011 and June 2020 more than 13,000 jobseekers in Scotland used support from their local Jobcentre and the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme, to launch their own business.  
Action Required - Submit Your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme December Claims
From HMRC - 7 January 2021.   Upcoming deadline for Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims, and to answer some questions you might have, too.  
Business Closure Grant Scheme Open For Applications
The Highland Council today launched the Temporary Business Closure Grant.  This grant is available for businesses who have had to close due to the COVID-19 protective measures introduced on Boxing Day.  
World Economy In 2021: Here's Who Will Win And Who Will Lose
The coronavirus has crippled the world economy.  Global GDP suffered its sharpest drop since the end of the second world war in 2020, millions were unemployed or furloughed, and governments pumped trillions of dollars into their economies to prevent greater damage.  
Traffic Through Dover-Calais Strait Remains Quiet, But Costs Of Cross-channel Freight Has Surged
Post-transition border controls faced their first test yesterday (4 January) on the first working day of the year, but the flow of freight moving across the Dover-Calais strait remained slower than usual.   France's new €50m smart border infrastructure was largely unused with traffic flowing at around a fifth of its normal level.  
Self Assessment Deadline: Less Than A Month To Go
Around 55% of Self Assessment customers have already filed their return, and HMRC is urging others to do so by 31 January.   Around 5.4 million Self Assessment customers have less than a month to complete their tax return, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced today (5 January 2021), ahead of the deadline on 31 January.  
£4.6 Billion In New Lockdown Grants To Support Businesses And Protect Jobs
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000, the Chancellor has announced.   Chancellor announces one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses [b]comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme[b] This follows the Prime Minister's announcement last night that these business will be closed until at least February half-term in order to help control the virus, and, together with the wide range of existing support, provides them with certainty through the Spring period.  
New Business Grant Scheme To Open In New Year
The Leader of The Highland Council is encouraging all businesses to apply for a new support grant.   The Council has paid out Business Restriction Grants of over £740,000 to 461 businesses impacted by the current Tier 1 restrictions Businesses required to close due to the Tier 4 restrictions from Boxing Day, will be able to apply for further Scottish Government grants early in the New Year.  
Highland Council Service Arrangements For Christmas And New Year - Emergency Contact Numbers
The Highland Council has notified its service users and customers of its opening hours and service arrangements over the festive period.   The Service Centre will close at 4pm on 24 December.  
Supporting The Legal Profession - Funding Of Up To £20 Million Available For Solicitors
Legal aid solicitors will benefit from a 10% uplift in legal aid fees and have access to a £9 million fund to help those experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19.   Following meetings with the Law Society of Scotland, the Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf confirmed a package of further support made up of: a 10% uplift in fees to be delivered over the next two financial years.  
Response To Agreement To Reopen French Border
Call to prioritise perishable goods hauliers.   Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has called for drivers moving goods such as seafood and salmon to be prioritised as an agreement is reached to allow hauliers into France.  
The Importance Of Asking For Help - Phone Numbers To Call
The Highland Council and NHS Highland are reminding Highland residents of the importance of reaching out for help if this is needed over the festive period.   The current time of year can be difficult for many people anyway, and others may have found that their plans for the festive season have changed at the last minute and the chance to see friends or family is now not possible.  
Helpful Start To 2021 For Highland Pupils - Free School Meals Payments To Be Issued Automatically
As a result of the Level 4 announcement by the First Minister, which changes the start of term after Christmas for Highland schools, thousands of school pupils who are entitled to means-tested free school meals will automatically receive payment vouchers in early January 2021.   Chair of the Education Committee, Cllr John Finlayson said: "I am delighted that our free school meal vouchers will be paid automatically to our families without the need for them to complete application forms.  
Brexit Deal Or No Deal, Food Bills Are About To Get A Lot More Expensive
This article was first published at The Conversation web site on 21st December 2020.  Authors Tony Heron, Professor of International Political Economy, University of York and Bob Doherty,Professor of Marketing and Chair of Agrifood, University of York With just a few days until the end of the transition period, and with British freight hauliers temporarily banned from travelling to France, we still don't know if a free trade deal will be struck between the UK and EU.  
Literacy Tool For All Launches In Highland Schools
We are delighted to announce, in partnership with Text Help, that every pupil and teacher in Highland schools now has access to Read&Write software, which supports learning both in the classroom and in the home on any device.   Schools in Highland have over 30,000 Chromebooks to support learning and the Connecting Scotland Grant has enabled investment in Read&Write.  
Schools Guidance From Scottish Government - Updated Measures For Pupils And Staff
Guidance on arrangements for the phased reopening of schools in January 2021 has been updated to take account of public health advice and Scotland's on-going work to supress coronavirus (COVID-19).   This guidance has been issued in response to the First Minster's announcement of 19 December and aims for a full return to school buildings and face-to-face learning and teaching for all children from 18 January.  
Changes To The Start Of Term For Highland Schools After Christmas
The First Minister announced at the weekend (19 December 2020) new plans for the return of Scottish schools in the New Year.  The Scottish Government has extended the school holiday period for all schools nationally until 11 January 2021.  
Advice For Holiday Accommodation In Level 4 Covid Protection Area
From Boxing Day (26 Dec 2020), the Highland Council area will be in a Level 4 Protection Area when ALL holiday accommodation requires to be closed to tourists.   Hotels, Bed & Breakfasts and self-catering can remain open for essential customers only.  
£104 Million Tourism And Hospitality Lifeline
Tourism and hospitality businesses across Scotland are to benefit from a £104.3 million package of support in the New Year.   The funding is part of the short term response to the Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce recommendations and follows lengthy discussions with industry to target support specifically where it is needed the most.