Face-to-face advice services to resume from next week

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced yesterday that from Monday, face to face advice provision can resume for welfare, debt and income maximisation purposes as Scotland remains in Phase 3 of its coronavirus lockdown.

From 24 August organised outdoor contact sports, some outdoor live events, driving lessons, child contact centres, face-to-face advice services, bingo halls, amusement arcades and casinos, snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling and both static and travelling funfairs can re-open – subject to strict adherence to guidance and appropriate safety measures such as physical distancing.

The First Minister said: “I hope the re-opening of some services will be welcomed because we know it is essential to reduce the economic harm this virus is doing, but I hope people will also understand why, as we try to open services and keep them open, we must take firm action when rules and guidance are not being complied with.”

Responding to the First Minister’s announcement, Derek Mitchell, chief executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, said: “This is welcome news. The Citizens Advice network in Scotland hasn’t missed a beat during the crisis, with bureaux transitioning to remote working and delivering advice over the phone and by email, which will continue to be the main methods of access.

“However, we know that in complex cases involving vulnerable people there is simply no substitute for face to face advice.

“Each of the bureaux in the Citizens Advice network will reopen at a pace and in a manner which they judge to be safe and responsible while also meeting of the needs of local vulnerable clients.

“Our message to the public is to check contact details for your local CAB so you can get advice in the most appropriate way.”

“Our bureaux have been helping people in Scotland for 80 years, and we’re here through this crisis to deliver free, impartial and confidential advice for everyone who needs it.”

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