COVID-19 updates

Date published: 1 April, 2020

COVID-19 updates

Find all the latest official guidance, publications, business advice, animal health and welfare support as we aim to keep you informed during COVID-19.

For any immediate queries please contact your local Area Office which are operating an answer machine service. Please leave a message and we will call you back as soon as possible.

The advice from Scottish Government to protect yourself and others is to:

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for essential food, health and work reasons
  • Stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Scottish test numbers for COVID-19 are updated on the Scottish Government website 2pm everyday.

As we continue to respond and adjust to COVID-19, the health, safety and welfare of staff and customers are of the utmost importance to the Scottish Government. From Monday 30 March, all Area Offices have moved to an answer machine service.

Customers can continue to phone their local Area Office but will be asked to leave a message asking for a call back for support on a particular subject matter. These messages are handled electronically and will reach members of staff who will then call the customer.

We may not be able to return your call immediately, so we appreciate your patience with us during these challenging times.

If you are experiencing any IT issues with ruralpayments.org, please contact your local Area Office within normal working hours. Outside office hours, our IT service desk which is available this week to help you resolve IT related issues such as:

  • issues affecting browsers
  • issues accessing ruralpayments.org
  • Unlocking user accounts
  • Resetting user accounts
You can contact the service desk between: ยท

  • 17:00 โ€“ 22:00 Monday-Thursday
  • 16:30 โ€“ 00:00 Friday
  • 09:00 โ€“ 17:00 Saturday and Sunday

You can contact the IT service desk by either email or phone:

  • AREISDServiceDesk@gov.scot
  • 0131 244 6202

The service desk cannot provide guidance to help you submit your SAF. If you have a question in relation to SAF, contact your local Area Office during office hours.

The Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate (ARE) is continually monitoring the COVID-19 situation and we will provide updates when necessary.

We recognise that the current government advice to work from home wherever possible and follow social distancing restrictions may have implications for customers completing their Single Application Forms (SAF) within the required deadlines.

Find out more key information regarding SAF 2020.

If you run a business you can get advice by calling the helpline: 0300 303 0660. It is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm. Select option 1 to speak to the COVID-19 team.

For updated daily information with the latest guidance, helpful rescourses, funding support and news relevant to Scotland's rural communities, visit the Scottish Rural Network COVID-19 Rural Information Hub for more information.

For people who are stressed or worried about COVID-19 please call the RSABI helpline 0300 111 4166. They are available 365 days a year from 7am to 11pm and all calls are confidential. You find more information on the RSABI website.