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

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Photo of Richard Leonard Richard Leonard Labour

There is no question but that the decisions that are made about levels are complex. However, having seen some of today’s data, we know that people will find it difficult to understand how the First Minister and the Cabinet have arrived at some of their conclusions.

The most recent data shows that there are 81 cases per 100,000 people in Stirling and 76 cases per 100,000 people in West Dunbartonshire. Those areas have both been moved to level 3. However, in Argyll and Bute, there are 165 cases per 100,000 people and that area has been in, and will stay in, level 2. Why is Edinburgh staying at level 3 when the data clearly shows that infection is under greater control in that city than it is in other parts of the country?

People want to see the evidence. Public co-operation during the pandemic operates on the basis of public trust and confidence, which have not been helped by the confusion that was generated at the weekend by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, which left businesses, workers and communities unsure whether the level 4 restrictions would end on Friday.

Can the First Minister give us a clear assurance that there will be no last-minute Midlothian-style U-turn later this week, and that businesses, workers and communities, especially those in all level 4 areas, can plan for easing of lockdown on Friday?