Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4th January 2021.

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Photo of Patrick Harvie Patrick Harvie Green

I thank the First Minister for her statement, and I add my condolences and those of the Scottish Green Party to the friends, family and colleagues of Kay Ullrich.

Once again, we are seeing the announcement of new measures, which everyone will find regrettable, but which I think the vast majority of people will recognise are necessary. However, with schools closing for longer than planned, there is a need for a package of practical support for parents, not only from Government but from employers. That need will be particularly significant for single parents, people who live in cramped conditions and people who are coping with working from home while schools are closed. People struggled last time, but they got through. They need and deserve our help if they have to do it again.

The First Minister recognised the uncertainty around the new variant’s impact on transmission among young people. Does she agree that over the next couple of weeks, before the review period, we will need clarity on such issues? We will need answers that give us confidence on the question of transmission among young people before we can know whether it is safe to fully reopen schools or what additional measures are necessary to keep young people safe.