The safety of everyone in our communities throughout Falkirk is paramount to the CVS Falkirk team and our partners, which is why we have compiled this list of guidance on how to stay safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to protect yourself and others, Scottish Government has advised people to:
- wear a face covering
- avoid crowded places
- clean hands and surfaces regularly
- stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people
- self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms
For further information, please visit the Scottish Government’s dedicated COVID-19 page.
The free Protect Scotland App has been designed to help keep Scotland safe from COVID-19. As we see the rate of infection increase, it’s important that we all download and use the Protect Scotland app. The more of us using the app, the better it will be.
For further information, please view the full web article.
On Tuesday 16th March, Scottish Government announced their timeline for further easing of lockdown restrictions, in light of of decreasing COVID-19 numbers and increasing vaccinations, with further announcements on Tuesday 13th April. (Additional changes are available on the Scottish Government website.) Key points are listed below (and in this useful graphic):
- Friday 26th March: places of worship in Level 4 can reopen, with gatherings of up to 50 people, (where there is space for physical social distancing)
- Friday 2nd April: “Stay Home” rule replaced by “Stay Local” (your own local authority area)
- Monday 5th April (Easter Monday): outdoor contact sports for 12 – 17 year olds, click and collect for non-essential items, mobility shops and (non-mobile) hairdressers and barbers are permitted, amongst others, along with phased returns to college
- Monday 12thApril – Monday 19thApril: all pupils return to school full-time
- Friday 16thApril: 6 people from 6 households can meet outdoors, and travel within Scotland for outdoor socialising, recreation and exercise will be allowed; people must continue to “Stay Local” for other purposes (such as non-essential shopping), and public transport capacity will continue to be limited.
- Monday 26th April: (amongst others) a maximum of 6 people from up to 3 households can meet; travel within mainland Scotland permitted; all shops, gyms, libraries, museums and galleries open; hospitality and tourist accommodation open (with restrictions); weddings and funerals permitted up to 50 people.
- Monday 17th May: in-home socialising with up to 4 people from 2 households permitted; cinemas open; further in-person support services available
These dates all rely on COVID-19 numbers continuing to fall, and people adhering to current guidelines until these points.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“It is not possible to provide specific dates or details for coming out of lockdown beyond 17 May – that will depend on what impact there is from the changes already made – however my hope and ambition is that from early June, all of Scotland will effectively be in level 1 of the levels system, allowing for a further easing of restrictions – and possibly moving to level 0 in late June.”
Further information is available on the 5 local protection levels, or “Tiers”, and a postcode checker to help people find the current restrictions in their area. These protection levels replace all previous restrictions and guidelines, with 0 being the lowest level of restriction, and Tier 4 the strictest, with law preventing travel in or out of Level 3 and 4 local authority areas, except for essential reasons. (Exceptions include: travelling to or from work, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, but only where that cannot be done from your home; travel to school; travel for essential shopping, for yourself or on behalf of a vulnerable person.)
Stay up to date with all COVID-19 restrictions via:
Many places are currently offering support and resources to help looking after your mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19, including:
- NHS Inform Scotland, with a series of mental wellbeing resources – such as guides on coping with depression, anxiety and financial worries during this time – on their COVID-19 page
- the Metro newspaper and their mental health podcast, Mentally Yours
- the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH)
- See Me Scotland
- St Andrews First Aid, who have released a poster with their 5 tips on improving mental wellbeing and keeping balanced during this time:
- Be Active
- Give to Others
- Keep Learning
- Be Mindful
In addition to their guidance above, Scottish Government has also produced a poster (available to view or download as a pdf or jpeg), which can be displayed in workplaces, with key information in plain language on the spread of COVID-19 and how to minimise this. There is also simplistic and instructive graphics.
To view or download the poster, or share it online, please click on the links below:
Health Protection Scotland and NHS National Services Scotland have released a series of guidance documents, including for use in non-healthcare settings.
The documents are available to view or download on the Health Protection Scotland website, and will be updated as and when required depending on the situation.
Health advice regarding COVID-19 is available on the NHS Inform website.
A free helpline can give advice if you do not have symptoms, but are looking for general advice, by phone: 0800 028 2816.
For further information, please visit the Health Protection Scotland website.
While lockdown has been eased across Scotland, Police Scotland still has various enforcement powers regarding COVID-19 and social distancing. For example, at the end of August, Scottish Government announced that Police Scotland will be granted new powers to protect against community transmission.
Police Scotland has also published a page on their website, with information on their powers during COVID-19.
For volunteers: Volunteers with groups providing essential services during this period are classed as Category 3 key workers, and are permitted to travel and be out of the house for their volunteering.
Police Scotland’s Falkirk Area Commander has advised that all volunteers:
- carry ID if they have it (this does not have to be ID issued by your group or organisation, though it would help)
- say who they are volunteering for
- state what they are doing, eg. “I volunteer with Bo’ness Storehouse Foodbank and we are delivering food for vulnerable people who are shielding and self-isolating.”
Even during the current situation, phishing, scams and doorstep crime occur, and it is important to be aware and to keep yourself and your family safe.
Phishing attacks can be delivered over email, text or phone call.
Known scams include individuals masquerading as WHO staff through phishing emails, or pretending to be Red Cross volunteers and falsely offering COVID-19 tests. Both links have information on how to identify scammers and protect yourself.
Last summer, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) launched the “#MulletOver Phishing Campaign“, to raise awareness around phishing scams, and released a series of handy postcard tips.
Police Scotland regularly produce information and tips around how to avoid scams, including:
- their Doorstep Crime postcard
- an Online Scam Safety leaflet
- the recent Banking Protocol Information video
- guidance on doorstep crime (including a British Sign Language (BSL) video)
- guidance on various giftcard scams
- Mandate Fraud Scam guidance
- information leaflet on TV Licensing Refund Scam (which includes instructions on how to identify a scam email)
Police Scotland advise that, during COVID-19 and in all situations, people always question unsolicited requests for personal or financial information, and never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
Police Scotland has also tweeted about the matter, with a list of scams to be aware of during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Further information and resources can be found on:
- Police Scotland’s Keep Safe and Personal Safety pages
- the Take Five website, part of a national campaign encouraging people to stop and think for 5 minutes, and prevent financial fraud, offering plain and impartial advice to help everyone to protect themselves against preventable financial fraud
- the Action Fraud website
As a result of the significant rise in COVID-19 related scams, over the next few months Scottish Government’s Cyber Resilience Unit will share important information through a weekly e-bulletin, the most recent of which will also be uploaded and available to view or download as pdfs below:
- Bulletin 27/8/2020, covering the NCSC Exercise In A Box service (a free tool to help organisations test and practise their response to a cyber attack) and its micro exercises, current popular scams (including holiday scams and “Safe Student”), and an update on the Citizen Advice Scotland Online Scams Helper
- Bulletin 13/8/2020, covering various scams including unsolicited deliveries or parcels (including “free” seed packets from China and Singapore; NFU Scotland has urged people not to open, handle, compost or plant these, as they may be harmful invasive species, harbour a disease, or have been treated with chemical agents, and instead report and send to Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA)), and INTERPOL’s recent assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on cyber crime
Alternatively, to view previous editions, please visit the Archive.
Recently, Police Scotland has been promoting a series of free videos made by their colleagues in the Cyber Griffin Unit at the City of London Police, specifically looking at some of the cyber security risks associated with working from home.
The videos are 2 – 4 minutes long each and cover the following topics (including definitions, recognition and prevention tips):
- multi-factor authentication
- software updates
- social engineering
- securing your router
The videos have been designed to be user-friendly, clear, concise, and easy to follow.
To watch the full series of videos, please visit the Cyber Griffin Unit guides main page on Youtube.
Our team here at CVS Falkirk has put together a short and simple guide to using Zoom for meetings with ourselves and anyone else.
We appreciate that a lot of organisations already use Zoom, however, we know this is not always the case. We want to ensure everyone has access to our meetings, and the ability to keep in touch with people, as much as possible during these times, and decided to create this guide as a way of helping that. We will include this guide with invitations we send going forward.
To view or download the guide as a pdf document, please visit the CVS Falkirk website.
Falkirk Council is continuing their adult and child protection services, adapted for the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown; they are committed to their legal duty to protect and support adults and children at risk of harm, and will respond to every concern reported to them.
Anyone who is worried about a child’s safety is encouraged to contact social work services by phone:
- Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm: 01324 506070
- Monday – Friday from 5pm, and at weekends: 01786 470500
Those concerned about a vulnerable adult’s safety should contact the adult protection team:
- by phone, Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm: 01324 506070
- by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are concerned that anyone is at immediate risk of harm contact Police Scotland as soon as possible by phone: 999.
If you are volunteering or working with any adults who are vulnerable, or you suspect are dealing with abuse of any kind, the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has produced a page of useful information, including who is likely to be targeted, the support available, and what to do if you suspect someone is dealing with abuse.
During this time, many people are relying on home deliveries for food and other essentials, including those who are high risk from COVID-19.
Facebook user Gator Bait Gear has created a range of large red posters for doors and windows to help advise delivery personnel of the precautions being taken by those inside the house.