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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:

We have weekly discussions with all the key business organisations, and that will continue. If Jackson Carlaw wants to give me the details of organisations that have not had those conversations, I will be very interested to hear them and, of course, I will take steps to rectify that.

The key business organisations are, and will continue to be, included in those discussions, as is the STUC, which is a critical partner, as we have to satisfy not just ourselves but workers that workplaces are safe to return to—just as we have to satisfy parents and pupils that it is safe to return to schools. That is an important part of building the confidence that we must build, so I will give an assurance that we will continue to have those discussions on an on-going basis.

I appreciate that members have not had time to absorb fully the detail of the document and route map, but members will see that we are building in time for preparation with each phase. Construction is being asked, and is permitted, to start its phased approach now; that is about preparation. Businesses that will, all being well, reopen in the next phase will be able to start making those preparations now. Dialogue and preparation will continue to be vital.