Action required to protect the resilience of critical emergency services during Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

From Monday all large gatherings above 500 people with the potential to impact the emergency services should be cancelled allowing emergency services to concentrate on the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the action in Scotland this afternoon to protect the resilience of the emergency services until the impact of the virus has lessened substantially.

Managing large events safely can require a significant commitment and planning from the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services, as well as others such as the voluntary sector.

At a time when there is severe pressure on emergency and public services as a result of the virus, cancelling large events will free up vital resources to focus on dealing with the outbreak.

Guidance on how this action will impact events will be produced before Monday.

The First Minister said: “Event organisers should take action now to help our emergency services deal with the scale of the challenge we face with coronavirus.

“Our frontline services are doing a fantastic job but they are already under pressure, which will increase as the number of cases in Scotland rises.

“The emergency services are well prepared to deal with this outbreak but mass gatherings, such as large football and rugby matches as well as concerts, can have a significant impact on emergency service resources.

“Removing unnecessary burdens on our frontline workers is the right thing to do so they can prioritise their response to where it is needed most.”

Common symptoms of coronavirus include:
• fever or a temperature of above 37.8°C
• persistent cough

Updates on public health advice for coronavirus can be found on the NHS Inform website, and a free helpline has been set up for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice: 0800 028 2816.