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 probably the key question, and the key challenge, at the heart of everything that we are doing. In the paper that we published a few weeks ago, “COVID-19—A Framework for Decision Making”, we set out clearly the framework in which we try to take decisions that balance all the harms. We know the harm of the virus—we have seen it day and daily for the past few months—but, increasingly, we have mounting evidence of the harms of the steps that we are taking to combat the virus.

As I keep saying, every choice that we make right now is a difficult choice: when we try to reduce harm in one area, we at least run the risk of it increasing in another area. There is no perfect answer; unfortunately, there is no magic science to tell us exactly how to do this. For all that we still face a risk from the virus, my judgment is that we face mounting risks from what we are doing to deal with it, which is why we have to take the risk of starting to ease the lockdown in a measured and careful way. That will continue.

We will publish, as I think we did at the previous review date, some of the assessments of the different harms that are feeding into the decision-making process.