Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 1st December 2020.

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The First Minister:

We will confirm the conclusions of our deliberations as soon as we have concluded them and the Deputy First Minister or I will set out to the Parliament what those conclusions are. We are deliberately thinking very hard about all those issues; they are not straightforward and there are arguments for standardising the holidays and perhaps extending them slightly and there are good arguments against that. Those decisions have to be carefully considered and of course they have to be driven by the latest evidence. That is what we will do and I hope that we will set out our conclusions on that some time over the course of this week to give parents due notice. We will take those decisions carefully, given the factors at play.

Everything that we do right now that helps to contain and suppress the virus causes difficulties and harms in other ways—that is the nature of the decision making that is under way, not only here, but across the United Kingdom and much of the world. That is why we are deliberately taking those decisions carefully and we will communicate them as soon as we can. That is also why we have taken the approach—almost every day of the pandemic—of updating the public as we go, and we will continue to do that. It is not so long ago that the Conservatives wanted to take away our ability to do that on a daily basis, but we will continue to do that. We will notify the Parliament as soon as we have come to a decision, which will be driven by the data that we monitor on a daily basis.