Council gearing up to support communities as COVID-19 cases rise


Published: Thursday, 23rd December 2021

With a rapid increase in the number of Covid-19 cases locally, replicating the national picture as the omicron variant takes a grip, we are taking steps to prepare for a challenging start to 2022.

Whilst the First Minister announced earlier this week various additional restrictions in an attempt to restrict the spread of the virus, current modelling predicts a significant increase in cases which will mean all organisations, including ourselves, are likely to experience increased staff absences through January and February.

Councillor Mark Rowley, Leader of Scottish Borders Council

“Based on the current models, which take into consideration the rising number of Covid-19 cases and current self-isolation guidance, it is clear that the early part of 2022 could be very challenging for our communities, businesses and public services.

“If the worst case scenario plays out, there is certainly the potential for service disruption or changes, possibly at short notice.

“This is certainly not the Christmas message I wanted to give, however it is imperative that we all prepare ourselves for what could lie ahead.

“However, I want to assure our communities that I am confident the Council is working tirelessly to protect our critical services and that we are planning how we can provide all the necessary support to our communities and residents that will be needed in what may well be very challenging circumstances.”

Self-Isolation Grant

As a reminder, if you have been contacted through Test and Protect and have been advised to isolate due to Covid-19, you may be entitled to financial assistance.

To be eligible for financial assistance, you must be employed at the time you were advised to isolate and be in receipt of certain benefits.

You can make an application for a one off payment by completing the online application form.

If you would like help with your application or you wish to apply over the phone, please phone Customer Advice and Support on 0300 100 1800.

Festive opening times can be found on our website.

Business support

Earlier this week the Scottish Government provided an update on new business support arrangements, including schemes to be administered by local authorities.

We are awaiting offer letters and guidance in relation to these funds from the Scottish Government prior to funds being distributed locally. However, it is anticipated that when the criteria is confirmed we will be able to approach eligible businesses directly to arrange payment at the earliest opportunity.

In the meantime, businesses are encouraged to visit the Find Business Support website for information on all available funds at this time.