Covid-19 Lockdown: Next Steps

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Richard Leonard Richard Leonard Labour

I thank the First Minister for advance sight of her statement.

I begin by restating that Labour wants the Government to succeed in defeating the virus. We want to support the Government to get that right, so we have supported the lockdown and today we support a gradual easing of the restrictions.

However, that must be done as safely as possible. It must follow the science, and it must be done at the right time. We need a national consensus to build public confidence in the plan. Any decisions to ease restrictions must respond to the facts on the ground.

To achieve that, we need three guarantees. First, the Government should publish the evidence behind the decisions that it has taken and will take in the future. Secondly, we need to see maximum testing capacity and a fully working test, trace and isolate system that is rolled out universally. Thirdly, the Government’s strategy must be flexible and able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Can the First Minister give us those guarantees?