Coronavirus (COVID-19) supporting Gypsy/Travellers: framework for local authorities

This framework, created jointly with COSLA, is for local authorities and partners supporting Gypsy/Traveller communities whilst Scotland transitions to living with COVID-19. This framework replaces all previous versions.

What is the purpose of this document?

To provide a framework for supporting Gypsy/Traveller communities living on public and private sites, and in unauthorised encampments in Scottish Local Authorities, to manage the risks and issues related to COVID 19. To be read alongside existing guidance on Managing Unauthorised Encampments.

Who should read it?

  • Those involved in local resilience partnerships;
  • Local Authority staff including Gypsy/Traveller Liaison Officers, Site Managers and those providing temporary accommodation;
  • NHS Directors of Public Health and IJB Chief Officers;
  • Police Scotland; and
  • Anyone who is involved in planning and providing support to Gypsy/ Travellers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key messages

  • Gypsy/Travellers face additional risks from COVID-19. Living in a trailer or caravan may make it difficult to limit virus spread within camps and comply with public health advice;
  • Gypsy/Travellers are more likely to have pre-existing health conditions and be at increased risk of poverty, fuel poverty, food insecurity etc. so it is important that they are linked to wider local support and services;
  • Local Authorities and their partners should provide appropriate support to help Gypsy/Travellers to follow health advice, test and protect and other public health guidelines, including accessing a vaccination, sanitation and safe stopping places; and
  • Provision should be focused on those most in need and underpinned by a public health and human rights approach.



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