Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 8th December 2020.

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Photo of Willie Rennie Willie Rennie Liberal Democrat

F irst, I thank the brilliant scientists who have made this vaccine. Science might be expensive year in and year out, but it is at times like this that we truly value the work that those brilliant people do.

I can understand the cautious easing of the levels—just doing one level at a time—but there are some puzzling decisions today that have already been referred to. People have been told that, if they did the right thing, if infections fell enough and if there was enough hospital capacity, the restrictions would be eased. However, several councils have lower infection numbers but are stuck in higher levels: Midlothian, which has already been talked about; Edinburgh, for which an explanation has been provided; Perth and Kinross; and Fife. They have consistently had level 2 indicators, but they are stuck in the higher levels of restrictions, which begs a question. I understand the need for judgment on top of the raw numbers—I get that—but the numbers seem to have been abandoned in favour of judgment only. Is the First Minister considering reviewing the indicators to bring them more in line with the judgments that she is making?