Covid-19 Christmas Restrictions (Holiday Accommodation)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 9th December 2020.

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Photo of Colin Beattie Colin Beattie Scottish National Party

1. To ask the Scottish Government what guidance it is providing to the holiday accommodation sector regarding the relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions over Christmas. (S5O-04833)

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

I call the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing.

Ms Cunningham will be relieved to hear that I do not expect her to answer the questions on rural economy and tourism.

I will have to suspend the meeting briefly while we connect with Mr Ewing.

14:22 Meeting suspended.

14:26 On resuming—

We resume business. Mr Ewing, will you say something, so that I know that we can hear you?

You are muted, Mr Ewing. Can you hear us? You cannot. I will suspend the meeting again.

14:27 Meeting suspended.

14:28 On resuming—

We resume again. Mr Ewing, can you hear me?

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

I thought that you were going to get a round of applause there, but members in the chamber are mean spirited. [

Applause

.] Ah—I thank members for giving Mr Ewing a round of applause. We were struggling to—

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

Oh—you cannot hear me.

I will suspend the meeting again.

14:29 Meeting suspended.

14:30 On resuming—

[

Inaudible

.]—off-and-on business.

I suggest that we move on to the next item of business—the ministerial statement on the budget update—after a short pause to get the speakers here. We can then try to get back to portfolio questions, because we cannot have this nonsense.

I think that that makes sense. I ask members to bear with me.

Photo of Johann Lamont Johann Lamont Labour

On a point of order, Presiding Officer.

I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone, but other meetings have been arranged for me this afternoon on the basis that I would ask my question now and would then leave. Will you advise on when you will be able to update us and when we will be required back in the chamber?

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

I will do that as soon as I can. Obviously, things are ad hoc at the moment. Once we have had the next item of business, I will be in a better position to know how Fergus Ewing is placed.

We will try to have portfolio questions when relevant members are here, as we will the coming debate. We will try to accommodate you, Ms Lamont, and any other member who has a portfolio question.

Photo of Johann Lamont Johann Lamont Labour

No one would want to be disrespectful by not being in the chamber. I am sure that you appreciate the position that we are in, Presiding Officer. Dialogue between members and the chamber desk would be appreciated.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

There certainly will be such dialogue. We will get the situation in hand. It is not the end of the world; it is just a small hiccup.

Photo of Elizabeth Smith Elizabeth Smith Conservative

On a point of order, Presiding Officer.

I am sorry to be difficult, but I have a question about whether the people who are in—[

Inaudible

.]

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

We are back to the problem with your card, Ms Smith. A bit of sabotage is going on. You will have to move seats and put your card in somewhere else, because what we say has to be on the record.

Photo of Elizabeth Smith Elizabeth Smith Conservative

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I am sorry to be difficult, but I have a question on behalf of those members who are following on, particularly as the next item is a statement. Will they have had sufficient time to read the copy that will have been given to them with prior notice?

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

I will find that out. Like you, I am finding out as we go along. I will let you know.

Photo of Jackie Baillie Jackie Baillie Labour

On a point of order, Presiding Officer.

I wish to be helpful. Members have not yet received a copy of the statement, with less than 20-odd minutes to go. That is unfortunate.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

Well, yes. I did not know that, but I do now.

I suspend the meeting for 10 minutes so that we can get some order back into the afternoon.

14:34 Meeting suspended.

14:50 On resuming—