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

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The First Minister:

We will review that weekly. I appreciate the views of local members and members of the local councils, but the clinical advice at the moment is that, outside the island communities—they are often islands that are greater distances away and do not have the same links to the mainland—that would not be a safe thing to do right now.

We will continue to review that on an on-going basis. I understand how difficult it is. It is difficult for every one of us not to be able to visit other people’s houses, but I know that it is even more difficult for people who live in rural and remote communities, where there might not be public facilities where they can meet other people.

We take the issue very seriously, but I return to a point that I made in response, I think, to Willie Rennie. The virus spreads by people coming together and interacting in the ways that we all like to interact. In order to stop spread and to minimise the risks over the winter period, we have to be very, very careful about all those interactions, which is why we think carefully—and will continue to do so—about the decisions.