“If the festivals return to business as usual in 2021, complete with the same bad bosses, lousy wages and illegal working practices, with corners cut and conditions worsened in a mad drive for profit to make up for the losses faced this year, all efforts made to help them now will ring hollow.”

Sean Bell: When Edinburgh’s festivals return, priorities must change

Suspension of benefit reviews welcomed by Citizens Advice Scotland

Citizens Advice Scotland have said that the UK Government’s decision to suspend benefit reviews and reassessments is “common sense”. The UK Government said that “anyone receiving Personal Independence Payment, Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance will have their reviews suspended for the next three months while the crisis is ongoing.” (Third Force News)

Pandemic isolation could lead to increase in abuse of elderly, charity warns

Safer aging charity Hourglass has warned that Coronavirus isolation could act as a “pressure cooker” leading to increased abuse and neglect of the elderly. It comes as domestic abuse charities have also said that there is evidence that during times of stress and societal instability, rates of domestic violence rise. (Holyrood)

Swinney urges restraint on childcare places during crisis

Childcare places “must be kept to an absolute minimum”, Education Secretary John Swinney has said. Swinney said that only the “most critical key-workers” should make use of childcare places. (STV)

Coronavirus Bill receives unanimous backing from Holyrood

The Scottish Parliament unanimously backed the House of Commons Coronavirus Bill, which gave extraordinary new powers to the UK Government for two years. The powers will be voted on again by parliament every six months. (The Herald)

Hospitals divided into ‘red and green zones’

Hospitals across Scotland have been divided into red and green zones to separate patients most likely infected with COVID-19 with other health problems. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine said they were not yet expecting a large surge in patients, but they were expecting that to change in coming days. (The Times)

Huge public support for lockdown

A new poll found 93 per cent of the UK public support the lockdown. The YouGov survey found that 76 per cent strongly supported it, while 66 per cent said they would find it easy to follow the new rules for the next three weeks. (The National)

Fresh call for hospital car parking charge abolition

Unite the union has called for hospital car parking charges to be abolished for NHS staff, as they work to combat coronavirus. The union said councils should also follow the new guidance of Aberdeen City Council to provide free on-street parking for NHS staff. (Holyrood)