Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 15th December 2020.

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The First Minister:

Given the outbreaks that we have seen in care homes in Fife, I understand what a worrying time this is for families of care home residents, both in Fife and in other parts of the country. Of course, we continue to carefully monitor the situation on a daily basis with partners and local care home oversight groups. Decisions on the allocation of levels in Fife, as in other areas, are taken after a detailed review of all the public health data, including local and national assessments and consideration of the four harms. That includes a report from the local incident management team and analysis of any local outbreak, such as the examples that Annabelle Ewing has mentioned in Fife. That is all taken into account when reaching those decisions. Although the outbreaks may not be the only reason behind the decision to keep an area in a particular level or to put an area in a particular level, they are part of coming to that decision.

As Annabelle Ewing rightly says, we all have a responsibility to help to suppress the spread of the virus; people in Fife, as well as people in the rest of the country, should continue to adhere to the FACTS guidance as well as following all the other rules that are in place in their areas. I remind people that, if they are in doubt about the rules that apply in their local area, the postcode checker on the Scottish Government website has that information.