Further details on the scale and format of the COP26 conference to be held in Glasgow in November are expected next month as organisers weigh up what measures will be necessary to cope with Covid.

Michelle McGinty, head of the city council’s COP26 team, said the UN and UK government will make the final decision on what “physical shape” the event will take. Originally scheduled to be held last year, the climate change conference was postponed because of the pandemic, and is now set to take place from November 1-12.

Speaking about those planning assumptions yesterday during a webinar hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Ms McGinty said: “We will soon, probably by the end of May, be ready to start talking again in earnest about what the impact of the COP footprint will be, what that means for your businesses, what that means in terms of opportunities, and what that means for our communities.”

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Adding that GetReadyGlasgow.com remains the best source for updated information, she said: “As we work through the summer and into the autumn we will start to get more and more detailed and granular about the information there, but the strategy is very much as it always has been, to keep the city moving, to keep us open for business, all the more important of course as we move into that busy Christmas period when we want to be supporting our hospitality and retail sectors as much as we can.”

More than 100 Chamber members took part in the webinar, where Ms McGinty was later asked whether business should start planning for COP26 now even though organisational details remain unclear. She said there should be a better idea “towards the start of the summer” on “what spaces are available and what those look like”.

“While that might sound a bit vague, it’s really important to start thinking about your strategy and what you want to do, and not to delay on that,” she added. “As soon as we know the shape that can take physically, we will be back in touch, but there is nothing to stop you planning at this stage.”