Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 13th July 2021.

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The First Minister:

The changes that I have announced today will come into force from Monday 19 July. I know that that is difficult for those who have weddings planned over the coming weekend, but we have to take decisions based on all the factors that I have set out, and we have to act as proportionately and responsibly as possible. The attendance limit for weddings at level 0 goes up considerably. I will ask the relevant minister to write to Pauline McNeill shortly with all the details of the dos and don’ts that we are advising at weddings to try to get them to operate as normally as possible but within safe boundaries, or boundaries that are as safe as possible.

I know how difficult it is but I cannot emphasise enough what a critical juncture we are at right now—in common, increasingly, with other countries across the UK and Europe. We desperately want to get everybody back to normal but we will set back our efforts to do so if we cease to be responsible, careful and cautious about it. I will provide more granular detail on all those points to Pauline McNeill.

Although I accept that many people disagree with them, as I said earlier, my job is to take such decisions even if they are unpopular, and I hope that people will, at least, know that the decisions are being taken with the utmost care and thought.