Aberdeen Lockdown (Guidance)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 12 August 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mark McDonald Mark McDonald Independent

The First Minister’s announcement regarding the extension of the restrictions in Aberdeen is understandable but, nonetheless, it will come as a disappointment to many across my constituency.

At yesterday’s topical questions, I asked the health secretary about a specific issue that has been raised with me by a number of constituents who rely on the support of grandparents to look after children where, for example, the grandparents stay in Aberdeenshire and the family stays in the city, or vice versa. Some of those constituents are teachers who are welcoming pupils back to school today, and they rely on that family support to care for their children.

What assurance can the First Minister give me that there will be clear guidance about whether those arrangements are possible, so that alternatives can be sourced, if necessary?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I know the difficulties that the restrictions are causing for people in Aberdeen. Once I have left the chamber, I will look specifically at that particular case to see whether we need to provide further guidance in order to give clarity. At the moment, the advice is that people should not be going into other people’s houses unless they have already formed an extended household group or they have caring responsibilities. That is the guidance, but if there is a need to make any aspect of that clearer, I will undertake to ensure that that is done later on.

I very much hope that the restrictions in Aberdeen are not in place for too much longer. They will be reviewed again in seven days, and we will lift some or all of them as quickly as we can. However, it is important not only that we have them in place right now, but that people comply with them. We will try to support people in Aberdeen with guidance to make that easier to understand, as much as we can.