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News Archive

PM statement on coronavirus: 20 March 2020
Good afternoon and thank you for coming again.   Today I am joined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Jennie Harries deputy chief medical officer.  
Childcare Provision For Key Workers
Criteria provided to local authorities to determine local need.   Guidance on childcare provision for key workers has been published.  
Treasury Wage Support Welcome - Rethink Lay Offs
The Scottish Government has welcomed the significant steps by the UK Government to support workers through the economic crisis sparked by coronavirus and has urged further support for self-employed, unemployed and sick.   The Economy Secretary has also called on big businesses who have laid off staff because of the crisis to reconsider their decisions in light of the new wage support package.  
First Minister address to the nation
"COVID-19 is the biggest challenge of our lifetimes." In recent days, we've been asked to make changes to our lives that would have been unimaginable a few weeks ago.   COVID-19 is the biggest challenge of our lifetimes.  
Government Announces Further Measures On Social Distancing 
Entertainment and hospitality premises to close temporarily and people urged to only travel if absolutely essential.   Measures to close entertainment, hospitality and indoor leisure premises across the country to take place from the end of trading hours today (Friday 20 March) to limit spread of coronavirus .  
Chancellor's huge package of support could cost several billion pounds per monthThumbnail for article : Chancellor's huge package of support could cost several billion pounds per month
From the Institute for Fiscal Studies.   A response to the Chancellor's new package of support.  
Public Sector Finances: February 2020Thumbnail for article : Public Sector Finances: February 2020
From the Office for Budget Resposibility.   Government records a small deficit in February, but coronavirus will see borrowing rise dramatically.  
Co-op To Hire 5000 Out Of Work Hospitality StaffThumbnail for article : Co-op To Hire 5000 Out Of Work Hospitality Staff
Convenience retailer, the Co-op, has announced plans to create 5,000 store-based roles in a bid to provide temporary employment for hospitality workers who have lost their jobs and to increase support for local communities, amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.   Recruitment procedures have been simplified so that candidates can apply for positions by walking into their nearest Co-op with a view to starting work in a matter of days.  
North Highland College UHI - Corona Virus UpdateThumbnail for article : North Highland College UHI - Corona Virus Update
Updates for students, staff and visitors Update March 17: North Highland College UHI is to suspend the delivery of face to face teaching from close of business today, Tuesday 17 March at 5pm, moving to the delivery of teaching and learning online to help reduce the risk of spread of coronavirus within our communities.  Students local course leaders will be in touch to explain how this will affect students directly and to communicate how they plan to continue teaching and assessment arrangements.  
Update On School Closures And Exams
Exams will not go ahead, teaching, learning and support can continue with local flexibility.   Deputy First Minister John Swinney has updated Parliament on the decision to close schools and confirmed that: the exam diet will not go ahead this year.  
Wick High School Ready To Learn Digitally During Corona Virus EmergencyThumbnail for article : Wick High School Ready To Learn Digitally During Corona Virus Emergency
As the ongoing COVID-19 crisis unfolds, we will post information for parents and pupils here.  Please check daily for updates or subscribe to our website's news service by clicking on the ‘Follow Wick High School' option on the right of the school page.  
Coronavirus Bill - Scottish Government Legislation will bolster COVID-19 response
New measures contained in the UK Coronavirus Bill will help enhance Scotland's response to COVID-19 and strengthen frontline services.   Constitution Secretary Michael Russell said the Bill, introduced into the UK Parliament today, followed close co-operation with the devolved administrations and was required because of "extraordinary public health and economic challenges posed by the pandemic".  
Highland Schools will close at end of school day on Friday 20 MarchThumbnail for article : Highland Schools will close at end of school day on Friday 20 March
As communicated by the First Minister yesterday, we can confirm that all schools in The Highland Council region will close at the end of the school day on Friday 20th March.  Pupils should not return to school on Monday 23rd March.  
£2.9 Billion Funding To Strengthen Care For The Vulnerable In England
The funding will help patients who no longer need urgent hospital treatment to return home, making at least 15,000 beds available during the coronavirus outbreak.   The funding comes from the £5 billion COVID-19 fund announced by the Chancellor in last week's budget.  
How can High Street business adapt to these times?Thumbnail for article : How can High Street business adapt to these times?
Betting companies and retailers under threat.   But examples from other countries could offer hope Dr Gordon Fletcher, retail expert from the University of Salford Business School, comments as several big High Street names signal distress over coronavirus.  
Bank Of England Cuts Interest Rate To 0.1% - The Lowest Ever
The Monetary Policy Committee at a special meeting on 19 March 2020 voted to cut Bank rate to 0.1% and increase its holdings of UK government and corporate bonds by £200 billion.   The spread of Covid-19 and the measures being taken to contain the virus will result in an economic shock that could be sharp and large, but should be temporary.  
Chancellor Hosts Business Groups And The Unions RoundtableThumbnail for article : Chancellor Hosts Business Groups And The Unions Roundtable
Representatives of business groups and the unions attended a roundtable this afternoon hosted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak The Chancellor of the Exchequer this afternoon hosted a roundtable with representatives of business groups and the unions.  In attendance were: Frances O'Grady (TUC), Carolyn Fairbairn (CBI), Adam Marshall (BCC) and Mike Cherry (FSB).  
Changes To Bus Services Across The Highlands
Measures reflect reduced travel and keeping key workers communities connected Temporary reduced service to operate from Monday 23rd March 2020.   Changes follow new government advice on social contact + non-essential travel Stagecoach support for national effort to help tackle challenging situation.  
Reduced Trains Timetables From Monday 23 March 2020 Due to Corona Virus
With the unprecedented global crisis, staff availability in ScotRail and Network Rail Scotland has been affected, as well as customer demand.  That's why, from Monday, 23 March 2020, we'll be operating a revised timetable.  
Highland Council Help For Hospitality And Tourism Workers Affected By Covid19 Crisis
The Highland Council is urging those from the hospitality and tourism sector who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus crisis to get in touch for support.   The Highlands has a large seasonal workforce, many living in ties accommodation provided by their employer.