Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 22nd December 2020.

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The First Minister:

I know that it is unfair; the virus is unfair to everybody. That is the point—it is not fair. We are having to take decisions that are extremely difficult for people. We cannot make exemptions to the rules, because any small exemptions that we made—other than really necessary ones for people who need to care for people—would all add up to greater risk of the virus spreading.

As I said yesterday, on Saturday night, when I got home after making these horrible announcements, I spent quite a lot of time reading emails that people had sent me. Most of them were from people who understood the necessity of the measures, but they set out—often in heartbreaking terms—the impact on them and their families. I cannot take away that impact for everybody, though I dearly wish that I could. However, I want people to know that I understand it and that we will do everything that we can—within the bounds of what we need to do to keep the virus suppressed—to mitigate the impact of it. None of this is fair on anybody right now.