A helpline providing businesses across Scotland with advice and guidance on the coronavirus outbreak has been announced by Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

The helpline, which is now live, will be open Monday to Friday, between 8.30am and 5.30pm.

Based at Scottish Enterprise’s existing call centre in Clydebank, advisers will answer questions from businesses related to COVID-19. The helpline will also help the Scottish Government identify the current challenges facing businesses.

Yesterday the First Minister confirmed that large gatherings of over 500 people will be cancelled to support the resilience of emergency services. The Scottish professional football programme was today suspended until further notice.

During a meeting with representatives from Scotland’s business support organisations including the STUC this week, Ms Hyslop stressed the importance of everyone following the latest COVID-19 advice. People with mild symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 including continuing coughing, or a fever or a temperature of above 37.8ºC should self-isolate for seven days. Those who have been in contact with someone who is experiencing symptoms should only self-isolate if they begin to experience symptoms.

The Cabinet Secretary said: "We continue to work closely with our partners to identify what further support businesses need. For example, the Minister for Local Government and Planning and the Chief Planner wrote to all planning authorities this week encouraging them to relax their approach to the enforcement of planning restrictions on shop delivery times and opening hours.

"I also chaired a meeting with representatives from Scotland’s business support organisations including the STUC to hear their concerns and provide reassurance that the Scottish Government will do everything in our power to protect the workforce, businesses and our economy.

"I’d also encourage everyone to refer to the new guidance on COVID-19 that includes workplace advice on reducing the spread of infection."

The business helpline number is 0300 303 0660. Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.