Publication - Minutes

Scottish Government Covid-19 Advisory Group minutes: 24 August 2020

Published: 3 Sep 2020

A note of the thirtieth meeting of the COVID-19 Advisory Group held on 24 August 2020.

3 Sep 2020
Scottish Government Covid-19 Advisory Group minutes: 24 August 2020

Items and actions

  1. The group discussed aerosol transmission and mitigating strategies and considered the available evidence on ventilation in relation to Covid-19.
  2. The group discussed indoor environments. Close-proximity of individuals is likely to be the highest risk factor but other  mitigating measures can be put in place as well as ventilation – limiting occupancy, physical distancing, facemasks, clean surfaces & hands. Good ventilation can be as simple as opening windows.
  3. The group received an update from the Chair of the Education & Children subgroup on face coverings in schools and on Higher and Further Education (HE/FE). 
    The group had a discussion around the wearing of face coverings by secondary school pupils and agreed that face coverings were just one instrument of a risk minimisation strategy. The chair noted the range of views in relation to the wearing of face coverings in schools and the group agreed that the advice should be kept under review as the effects of reopening schools become clearer.
  4. In discussion, it was highlighted that HE/FE educational environments are very different from schools and more akin to adult workplaces and that risk assessments should be carried out by individual institutions. The Group noted that work was ongoing on HE/FE issues.
  5. In relation to risk of transmission, the group noted that there is more risk if people are attending HE/FE in person. The group discussed the issue of compliance in relation to young people and considered that it was wrong to make generalisations in relation to the behaviours and attitudes of young people.
  6. Where the group provides scientific advice in relation to HE/FE it focuses on the health impacts in relation to students & staff of HE/FE – it is the remit of others to look at the impact of the other harms.