2 November update - school lunches
From 15 November, we’ll be reopening our primary school lunch halls on a phased basis to offer P1-P7 pupils two hot meal options and one cold meal option. Hot meals will also be available in our high schools from 29 November. BACS payments covering Monday 1 Nov to Friday 26 November have been made to parents of pupils who qualify for free school meals.
Individual schools will be in touch with parents and carers about arrangements for the phased reopening.
10 September update: NHS Lothian public health has sent a letter to parents and carers
In addition to the information included in the 9 Septembr update, we also requested a letter from NHS public health for parents and carers. Dona Milne Director of Public Health and Health Policy at NHS Lothian has now issued us with that letter which gives more details to help explain the change to national guidance around positive coronavirus cases in schools. The letter is being sent to parents and carers today.
9 September update
We are updating parents and carers with a reminder of the recently changed national track and trace procedure in the event someone tests positive for coronavirus in a school.
Move to beyond level 0 from Monday 9 August
As we re-open services please bear with us as we continue to have staff who are self-isolating. Your patience is appreciated.
We have re-opened our membership options for customers. Please contact the centre for further information. All of our 'pay as you go' prices have now returned to pre covid levels. Current Memberships will return to their normal Direct Debit level on the 1/12/2021.
Some restrictions remain in place in our leisure centres so please visit your centre’s page on our website for more details before you come along.
Please continue to check our leisure centre pages for updates.
Dalkeith, Danderhall, Gorebridge, Loanhead, Newtongrange and Penicuik Libraries are open. The mobile library will also continue to offer services to the wider community.
Libraries within the school campuses at the Lasswade and Newbattle Centres will be open 10.30am-7pm on Thursday 12 August and 10.30am-5pm on Friday 13 August. Newbattle Library will also open for self-service returns and borrowing on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August from 9am-5pm. Newbattle and Lasswade will be closed temporarily on Monday 16 August while new arrangements to reopen outwith school hours are finalised. We'll update these pages with more details as soon as possible.
Roslin Library remains closed for the moment although the mobile library continues to visit once a week.
Please continue to check our libraries pages for updates.
The reception at Midlothian House has reopened. Facilities continue to be available across the county to pay your rent or council tax.
The same arrangements as the pre-summer break remain in place and the situation will be reviewed on a regular basis based on updated national guidance.
Information about pupils' return to school will be sent parents and carers prior to the start of the new term.
Unless exempt, all staff in Early Learning Centres, primary and secondary schools and secondary pupils will still be required to wear face coverings.
Staff will maintain 1m physical distancing for the first six weeks of term and all school staff and secondary pupils are strongly encouraged to restart twice-weekly at-home LFD testing in the week prior to return.
Ideally, the second weekly test should be taken either in the morning before the pupil or staff member leaves for the first day of school or the evening before.
It is really important that results are recorded online, whether positive, negative or void.
Testing can help reduce the risks of COVID-19 outbreaks in schools. Many schools provided test kits to staff and pupils prior to the summer break. If any staff or pupils have not received test kits, find out how to get tested and where to get home testing kits on our Community Testing pages.
All public toilets will be open from Wednesday 11 August with the exception of Bonnyrigg and Gorebridge, which require repairs.
Hub cafes remain closed at this time.
Bookings can now be taken for community lets, subject to relevant risk assessments being in place.
Sport & Leisure update (Monday 19 July)
For our sport & leisure service customers today’s move to Level 0 means:
- We will provide further details on our softplay openings while still adhering to restrictions within the centres.
- There will be no change to the current arrangements regarding the wearing of face masks in venues. The First Minister advised that the “mandatory wearing of face coverings will remain in place not just now but, in all likelihood, for some time to come.”
- In indoor public places the physical distancing requirement will reduce from 2m to 1m. At this point we are not making any changes to our services and operating arrangements e.g. the layout of the fitness studios and the gym but await more sport sector detail.
- The First Minister advised that she remains hopeful about a move beyond level 0 on the 9th August (when everyone over the age of 40 will have had their second vaccine, at least 2 weeks previously). A decision on this will be made nearer the time and an update is expected in the week before 9th August. ‘Beyond level 0’ means a further relaxation and, in some cases, a removal of current restrictions.
- Adult indoor contact sports can now take place but await more sport sector detail.
- Our Spa/Steam Rooms/Saunas remain closed at this time.
Please bear with us and continue to check with our centres directly by phone or email for further updates and booking information.
Midlothian moves to Level 0 from Monday 19 July
From Monday 19 July, Midlothian has moved to a modified Level 0. Face coverings will continue to be mandatory. Please continue to follow FACTS guidance.
Among the changes happening from Monday are:
• Up eight people from up to four households can meet indoors at home;
• Up to10 people from up to four households can meet in a public indoor space, such as a pub or restaurant.
• Up to 15 people from up to 15 households can meet outdoors, whether in a private garden or public place,
• Children under 12 will not count towards the total number of people or households.
• Up to 200 people will be able to attend weddings and funerals from Monday
• Limits on the size of events and stadia attendances will increase outdoors to 2,000 seated and 1,000 standing, and indoors to 400.
Drop-in vaccination bus coming to Midlothian (updated 9 July)
A mobile vaccination unit, run by the Scottish Ambulance Service in partnership with NHS Lothian, will be at St. Andrew Street car park, Dalkeith, EH22 1AN on Wednesday 14 July from 11am-7pm.
It will offer drop-in COVID-19 vaccinations to anyone eligible for vaccination.
New fund to help local businesses recover and grow (updated 6 July)
A new fund has been launched to support Midlothian businesses with continuing financial pressures, which limit their ability to adopt new ways of working. The Recover to Grow Fund is aimed at helping businesses with projects that will help them recover from the impact of the pandemic, particularly those with a ‘green’ or digital theme. Projects that help contribute to Midlothian Council’s Net Zero carbon targets are particularly welcomed.
Who can apply
Businesses that continue to operate on a restricted basis, such as soft play, hospitality (including the hospitality supply chain), travel agents, and independent retailers can also apply, as can community groups delivering events and sporting activities that continue to be affected by the coronavirus restrictions.
The new fund is supported by Scottish Government Discretionary Funding, along with a Midlothian Council contribution. It is available on a “first come, first served” basis, and is open until Monday 26 July.
GP outlines vaccine facts translated into various languages
The Scottish Government has partnered with the Edinburgh-based charity MECOPP (Minority Ethnic Carers of People Project) on a vaccine facts video featuring NHS GP Dr Punam Krishan translated into the languages below:
Visit NHS Inform for more information about the vaccine or call 0800 030 8013.
Reminder of where to get tested (24 May)
To help stop the transmission of coronavirus, a number of testing units are now open in Midlothian. Find out how to get tested if you have symptoms of Covid or have been asked to get tested because you've been in contact with someone who has tested positive. Alternatively, find out how to get tested if you have no coronavirus symptoms.
Beeslack and Mauricewood schools update (15 May)
A letter has gone out to parents and carers about Beeslack High School moving to a mix of in-person and remote learning from Monday. This is following a number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Pentland area, and as a precautionary measure. Mauricewood Primary parents and carers have also been contacted regarding continuing with remote learning.
Browsing is back in some libraries (updated Friday 14 February)
Customers at Dalkeith, Danderhall, Newtongrange, and Penicuik libraries are to finally get the chance to browse the bookshelves again - provided they have pre-booked an appointment!
Book your slot
From Monday (May 17), customers can book a slot using an online form or by contacting their library by email or telephone. Bookable slots will be for 30 minutes, with the total amount of customers allowed into each branch at any one time listed on the website.
Details of how to make a booking online will appear here soon.
Although other branch libraries remain closed, this is being reviewed on a weekly basis. It is hoped that Midlothian Council will be able to re-open the remaining libraries in the next few weeks. In the meantime, the mobile library will continue to offer services to the wider community.
Bookbug is back! (Libraries update - Friday 14 May)
We’re pleased to announce that Midlothian Libraries’ popular Bookbug sessions for young children are starting up again! Following a relaxation of the Coronavirus regulations, Bookbug will be returning during the week beginning 17 May.
To keep everyone safe, sessions will look a little different. They will be smaller, so advance booking is essential. Social distancing will be in place and adults must wear a mask. Due to current guidelines, singing is not permitted - but there will be lots of fun stories and rhymes to fill the session!
Join one of our interactive sessions for 0-5 year olds:
Thursday and Saturdays 11am to 11.20am
To book, call 0131 663 2083
Bookbug will be resuming in our other open branches very soon! Please check our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.
The Library Service also has lots of online sessions on their YouTube channel, so you can access Bookbug at any time. The Scottish Book Trust also have a fantastic FREE Bookbug app available. Packed full of songs, videos, stories and more.
Latest timetable for easing COVID-19 restrictions (11 May)
All of Scotland is currently at Level 3. From 17 May, mainland Scotland, including Midlothian, and some islands will move to Level 2. Some islands will move to Level 1. Moray is likely to remain at Level 3. Find out more about the changes from 17 May.
As we prepare for the move to level 2, please continue to follow FACTS so that we continue to suppress this virus:
- Wear face coverings
- Avoid anywhere busy
- Clean hands and surfaces
- Use two metre distancing
- And self-isolate if you have symptoms
Timetable for easing COVID-19 restrictions
From Monday 26 April, mainland Scotland (including Midlothian) and islands at Level 4 will move to Level 3. Islands at Level 3 will remain there until 17 May. The remaining travel restrictions within Scotland will be lifted and travel within the UK will be permitted for any purpose. The easing of restrictions will also mean, with the exception of Gorebridge, which is currently a vaccination centre, all of our leisure centres will reopen on Monday 26 April, including the new facilities at Danderhall. Dalkeith, Danderhall, Newtongrange and Penicuik Libraries will reopen and the Mobile Library will continue to offer services to the wider community also.
We expect Scotland to move through the other levels on the following dates:
- Monday 17 May: all of Scotland is expected to move to Level 2
- Monday 7 June: all of Scotland is expected to move to Level 1
- Late June: all of Scotland is expected to move to Level 0
See the Scottish Government table for summary information on what you can and cannot do at each level (PDF)
Timetable for easing COVID-19 restrictions - 14 April
We expect Scotland to move through the levels on the following dates:
- 26 April: mainland Scotland (including Midlothian) and islands at Level 4 are expected to move to Level 3. Islands at Level 3 will remain there until 17 May
- 17 May: all of Scotland will move to Level 2
- June (early): all of Scotland will move to Level 1
- June (late): all of Scotland will move to Level 0
See the Scottish Government table for summary information on what you can and cannot do at each level (PDF)
Change to COVID-19 restrictions in Scotland - 13 April
The First Minister has announced a change to the Covid restrictions which are currently in place. She said: “From Friday this week - 16 April - we will all be able to travel anywhere within Scotland for the purposes of outdoor socialising, recreation, or informal exercise. We are also able to relax the rules for meeting people outdoors, again from Friday. At the moment, a maximum of four adults from two households are permitted to meet outdoors. From Friday onwards, that will change to a maximum of six adults, from up to six households.”
Please continue to adhere to the FACTS:
- wear face coverings;
- avoid anywhere busy;
- clean hands and surfaces;
- use two metre distancing
- and self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.
Current restriction level - 2 April
From 2 April, the stay at home rule will change to stay local. From 5 April, more services will be able to open.
Football pitches from Monday 15 March
Sport and Leisure will be able to take football bookings from 9am on Monday 15 March.
All bookings for grass and artificial pitches will be by calling the leisure centre associated with each specific pitch, no bookings will be taken in person.
Libraries - Reserve and Collect restarting
All libraries are currently closed although the Reserve and Collect library service is restarting. From Monday 15 March, Dalkeith, Newtongrange and Penicuik libraries are reopening to deliver the Reserve and Collect service only. The mobile library will also restart at this time for this service only. Library buildings and facilities are still shut, but you can arrange to collect and drop off library items by using the Reserve and Collect service. Book using the web form or contact the branch library by phone or email.
Return to school
Schools have been in touch directly with parents and carers about arrangements for the remainder of pupils to return to school on Monday 15 March.
Education update (Tuesday 2 March)
Schools will be in touch with parents and carers about arrangements for all children to return to primary school full-time from Monday March 15 after today’s announcement by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
All secondary school pupils in Scotland will return to classrooms part-time from the same date and are expected back full-time from after the Easter break on Tuesday 20 April.
Again, secondary schools will contact parents and carers about the phased return to ‘in-person’ learning once they have considered today’s announcement.
New discretionary fund to help support small businesses (Tuesday 9 February)
Small or micro businesses in Midlothian may be eligible for support from a newly launched COVID-19 discretionary fund. Financed by the Scottish Government, the fund is aimed at those who have not been able to get any other grant support or can show that they have not received enough to keep them in a viable trading position. Small businesses who supply goods or services to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses required to close or restricted by law due to COVID-19 may also be eligible.
Administered by Midlothian Council, the discretionary fund provides one-off grants of £1,500 to those who meet the funding criteria.
Phased return to school and lockdown restrictions update (Tues 2 Feb update)
Depute Council Leader Councillor Jim Muirhead has thanked local residents for complying with the level four restrictions, which will be extended until at least the end of February. Given the detrimental impact school closures is having on children’s wellbeing, he also cautiously welcomed news of the phased and gradual return of some pupils and children to nurseries and schools after the February mid-term break.
Information about senior phase qualifications (Thursday 28 January)
Most pupils learning from home until mid February (19 January)
The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday 19 January that Scotland's Covid-19 lockdown has been extended until at least the middle of February, with most school pupils to continue learning from home. She hopes schools will be able to at least begin a phased return to the classroom in the middle of next month.
Schools will continue to provide critical childcare only for key workers and for our most vulnerable children and young people.
Category 1 or 2 key workers should contact their child's school directly with any queries about places.
Schools will continue to provide home learning until at least the middle of February. This learning experience will be different, however it will still be based on children’s current learning targets.
More information about changes to some council services (Tuesday 5 January update)
Find out more about our critical service delivery, which will mean no changes to current recycling services. Parks will also remain open.
Council to deliver critical services only (Monday 4 January update)
Following today’s announcement by the First Minister that additional level 4 restrictions will be in place from midnight tonight (Monday), Midlothian Council will deliver critical services only.
These new restrictions, which are similar to the lockdown of March and will be in place at least until the end of January, mean that everyone should stay at home.
This means it will only be permissible to leave home for an essential purpose.
This will include, for example, caring responsibilities, essential shopping, exercise and being part of an extended household.
In addition, anyone who is able to work from home, must do so. It will only be a reasonable excuse to leave your home to go to work, if that work cannot be done from home.
The Scottish Government is also providing new guidance for people who are in the shielding category.
If you were shielding and you cannot work from home, you should not go into work at all.
From tomorrow (Tuesday), the rule on outdoor gatherings will change.
A maximum of two people from up to two households will be able to meet outdoors.
Children aged 11 and under will not be counted in that limit, and they will also be able to play outdoors in larger groups, including in organised gatherings.
However, for everyone else – including 12 to 17 year olds - outdoor exercise should only take place in a way which is consistent with the 2 people from 2 households rule.
In addition, strict travel restrictions remain in place across Scotland. From tomorrow, you cannot leave your home except for an essential purpose. When you do go out, stay as close to home as possible and stay away from crowded places.
The restrictions are enforceable by law. Many thanks for your co-operation.