New £25 million package targets high risk settings.

Business premises will be able to access a £25 million package to improve ventilation and reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

Grants will target a wide range of high risk settings where people come into close proximity, including restaurants, bars and gyms, with support available to help companies undertake work such as the installation of carbon dioxide monitors and altering windows and vents.

An expert advice group, chaired by Professor Tim Sharpe from the University of Strathclyde, unanimously recommended that businesses should be supported to improve ventilation. The Group was established in August to advise how enhanced ventilation can help reduce transmission of the virus.

The First Minister said:

“As we step away from other mitigations, improved ventilation will play a significant role in reducing transmission indoors, support the sustained opening of society and contribute to our wider Covid recovery.

“Many of the businesses we are targeting have been closed for long periods and it is right that they are helped to undertake this work. We are allocating up to £25 million to assist small and medium-sized enterprises and expect to begin making payments in November.

“The package will initially target higher risk sectors where people spend significant amounts of time in close proximity to each other, such as hospitality and leisure, and will make indoor settings safer, especially through the winter months.”

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