Covid-19 Lockdown: Next Steps

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

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The First Minister:

That is a valid and important question, which gives me the opportunity to clarify matters, although some of my clarification will take in the flexibility and continued uncertainty around some of the decision making.

Let me be clear that the specific mention of 11 August applies to schools and does not indicate that all of phase 3 will start on that date, because we have to be guided by the evidence and take decisions as we go.

Willie Rennie might understandably be getting at the point that we want to align such things as parents going back to work and kids going back to school, as much as possible—although it might not always be possible—so that we give as much consideration as we can to people’s practical ability to live their lives. Even the date of 11 August for schools is subject to the evidence allowing that to happen.

Apart from when we hope to go into phase 1 next week, we cannot give people definite dates right now, and it would be a mistake to do so. That is why the review period of every three weeks at least will be so important, so that we build in as much clarity as possible as we go, as quickly as we can.