Covid-19 (Reintroduction of Local Restriction Levels)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 17th March 2021.

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Photo of Alasdair Allan Alasdair Allan Scottish National Party

7. I, too, appreciate that my question may have been overtaken by the First Minister’s remarks yesterday.

To ask the Scottish Government what preparations Police Scotland is making for the reintroduction of Covid-19 local restriction levels. (S5O-05120)

Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

I engage with Police Scotland regularly around Covid-19 regulations. Operational policing decisions are, of course, a matter for the chief constable. However, Police Scotland has advised me that officers will continue to work alongside its national and regional partners to support people through the move out of the current stay-at-home period and back into the restriction levels.

Police Scotland has advised that contingency plans are in place for national and local policing divisions to ensure resource and response capability during the transition, and that it will consider a number of pertinent themes, including the reopening of hospitality, retail, the night-time economy and so on and so forth.

Officers will continue to respond to breaches of legislation, including large indoor and outdoor gatherings, taking enforcement action where it is proportionate and necessary to do so in order to support the national health emergency and protect the citizens of Scotland.

A range of important stakeholders will be involved in the monitoring of compliance with regard to the reintroduction of the restriction levels across Scotland. As Dr Allan alluded to, the First Minister mentioned in her statement yesterday that the Government will enter into discussion with island communities on that very issue.

Photo of Alasdair Allan Alasdair Allan Scottish National Party

As the cabinet secretary alluded to, particular questions are still being discussed around the level of restrictions that might apply to travel to and from islands. Can he say more about what the police will do once there is greater clarity on the level of restrictions?

Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

As they have done previously, the police will work, where necessary, with local authorities and with the transport providers—in the case of Dr Allan’s constituency, that means the ferry operators and the aviation sector.

I am sure that, at a local level, the police will engage with Dr Allan on his constituency because, where necessary, they will take enforcement action where there are particularly egregious breaches of the travel restrictions.

However, we must remember that, although the police have a role to play, so do local authorities and transport providers. It is incumbent on all partners to be collectively engaged in the discussions that the First Minister alluded to in her statement yesterday.