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Covid-19 Lockdown: Next Steps

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

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The First Minister:

It is important that the support that is now in place for individuals and businesses, which we have warmly welcomed and translated into programmes here in Scotland, continues for as long as is necessary. That includes the job retention scheme and the different grant routes that can help businesses. Over and above that, we will seek to do as much as we can to support the businesses in the sectors that will be hit hardest for longest. We want to support those businesses to restart as safely as possible.

The importance of the tourism sector to Scotland is definitely measured in pounds, but it is also measured in much more than that. It is fundamental to our perception of who we are as a country and to our international standing. Therefore, it is really important that we support the tourism sector, and it will be vital that, as we move forward, we have tailored programmes of support to help those businesses that will take longer to come out of the current situation.

For employees, whether of the Hilton in Aberdeen or of any business whose workforce faces redundancy, as well as doing everything that we possibly can to avert those situations, our partnership action for continuing employment—PACE—initiative will always work with affected employees to support them into alternative employment as quickly as possible.