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

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The First Minister:

First, we do not have the same requirement for the kind of form filling that has raised concerns in England. I think that I heard the Prime Minister say yesterday that in England they are trying to sort that out as well. I do not think that any of us wants to put up unnecessary barriers, although it is important with any clinical programme that the right checks are in place. We have around 2,300 vaccinators already registered and the programme is gearing up as we speak and will gather pace with every day that passes.

Kenneth Gibson raises an important point about compliance. The police increased their visibility over the Christmas period in relation to travel restrictions, but we and they will continue to see enforcement as a last resort. My message to everybody who has been finding their compliance with the restrictions dipping—given the longevity of the situation, that would be understandable particularly over the Christmas period—is that, if there was ever a time to really think about this and to abide by the restrictions, it is now. We face a perilous situation, which is more serious than at any time since the outset of the pandemic. We cannot afford to have anyone inadvertently spreading the virus. The message to all of us is that we must redouble our efforts.