As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises British nationals against all but essential travel, exempting some countries that no longer pose an unacceptably high risk for British travellers. This advice is being kept under constant review and may change at short notice.
The fitfortravel (for the general public) and TRAVAX (for health professionals) country pages have been updated to include a COVID-19 country specific risk-rating, with every country being identified as high, moderate or low risk and each rating accompanied by appropriate travel advice. This information will be listed in the ‘Alerts’ section on each country page of fitfortravel and the 'Emerging Health Risks' section of every TRAVAX country page.
This risk-rating is based on a robust public health assessment of the COVID-19 risks for travellers to each country and is regularly reviewed. Since July 2020, the COVID-19 risk to UK travellers has decreased for the following countries:
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- East Timor (Timor Leste)
- Lao PDR
- the Greek islands of Lesvos, Milos (Serifos), Tinos, Santorini and Zakynthos
The COVID-19 risk rating and travel advice from the FCDO is being kept under constant review and may change at short notice. All travellers are advised to continue following sensible precautions and consider the following sources of information below.
Advice for travellers
Before planning and/or booking international travel, please check:
Information relating to travel and COVID-19 is available on the TRAVAX (for healthcare practitioners) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
Information on COVID-19 for the general public is available on the NHS Inform (Scotland) and the NHS.UK (rest of the UK) websites.
Information and resources on COVID-19 for health professionals is available on the Health Protection Scotland (HPS) (Scotland) and Public Health England (PHE) (rest of the UK) websites.
Source: TRAVAX, 25 September 2020
Global Handwashing Day, on 15 October 2020, aims to increase awareness and understanding regarding the importance of handwashing with soap, as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has acted as a reminder that one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of viruses is simple hand hygiene, especially handwashing with soap. To decrease the spread of COVID-19 and ensure better health outcomes beyond the pandemic, handwashing with soap is a priority.
The theme for Global Handwashing Day 2020 is ‘Hand Hygiene for All’, and calls for all of society to achieve universal hand hygiene. Lack of access to handwashing facilities and effective handwashing promotion programmes can put individuals at higher risk for diseases which may impact on their health, education and economic outcomes.
The Scottish Government has announced the creation of a fund worth £3.5 million to help deliver climate-friendly projects. The fund aims to aid a ‘green’ recovery following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Community Climate Asset Fund will provide grants of up to £100,000 for projects supporting community climate action, including those that boost energy efficiency in community buildings and help with the purchasing of electric bikes and vehicles.
Smaller grants of up to £10,000 will support active travel and waste reduction projects, with the aim of enabling community groups and schools to purchase tools and equipment for food growing projects.
Applications for the fund have opened, with projects expected to be complete by the end of March 2021.
Source: Scottish Government, 9 October 2020
On 6 October 2020, Food Standards Scotland (FSS) launched a public consultation on the proposed amendments to the Food Information (Scotland) Regulations 2014, which requires food sold prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) to be labelled with the name of the food and ingredients information.
The consultation aims to improve information about the allergens and other ingredients in these foods, which are generally packaged at the same place they are being sold, before being offered to consumers.
Examples of PPDS foods include:
• sandwiches placed into packaging by a food business and sold from the same premises
• foods that are pre-weighed and packed, such as cheese or meats from a deli counter or baked goods from an in-store baker
• fresh pizzas from a deli counter, for example on a cardboard tray and wrapped in plastic
• boxed salads
The new allergen labelling requirements are intended to apply to PPDS foods in Scotland from 1 October 2021.
FSS is also consulting on technical guidance for food businesses to provide information on substances and products causing food allergies and intolerances. A partial business and regulatory impact assessment concerned with the costs and impacts of these amendments accompanies this consultation.
FSS is also seeking views from food businesses, local authorities, consumers (particularly those with, or who buy food on behalf of someone with, a food allergy or intolerance), health professionals and other stakeholders, with the consultation running until 4 December 2020.
Source: FSS, 6 October 2020
Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has published the latest results of its ‘Food in Scotland’ survey, measuring changes in Scotland's attitudes, behaviours and knowledge in relation to food over time.
The survey is undertaken biannually, with alternating modules focussing on food safety and authenticity, and diet and nutrition, each running once a year. The survey draws from a representative sample of over 1,000 people living in Scotland.
The current survey focused on diet and nutrition. The survey was conducted between 3 and 17 July 2020, during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, so also includes new questions exploring COVID-19 and its impact in relation to diet.
Source: FSS, 7 October 2020