A helpline providing businesses in Scotland with advice and guidance on the coronavirus outbreak has been launched by the Scottish Government.
The phone line – 0300 303 0660 – will be open Monday to Friday, between 8.30am and 5.30pm.
The helpline was announced by economy secretary Fiona Hyslop, who said the government will use the calls to identify the concerns and challenges facing businesses.
It will be based at Scottish Enterprise’s existing call centre in Clydebank, although advisers will be working across Scotland.
Hyslop said: “This situation presents a significant risk to global and domestic economic activity.
“That is why today we are launching a business helpline which will provide companies in Scotland with the support and guidance they need to respond appropriately.
“I also chaired a meeting with representatives from Scotland’s business support organisations including the STUC to hear their concerns and provide reassurance that the Scottish Government will do everything in our power to protect the workforce, businesses and our economy.
“I’d also encourage everyone to refer to the new guidance on Covid-19 that includes workplace advice on reducing the spread of infection.”
The announcement followed updated guidance and escalated measures by the Scottish Government as it moves towards delaying the spread of the disease.
Speaking at a press conference in St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh on Thursday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said anyone with even mild symptoms indicative of coronavirus should self-isolate for seven days.
Ms Sturgeon also announced that mass gatherings of more than 500 people will be cancelled on Monday to ease pressure on the NHS and other emergency services, warning: “We are entering a period where there will be significant changes to people’s day-to-day experiences.
“That is going to affect all of us and the difficult judgments that are involved in that have to be taken.”