First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for urgent four nation talks to continue to drive coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission to the lowest possible level.
Acting quickly and decisively is essential, said the First Minister, pointing to scientific opinion that bringing the virus back under control will require measures beyond those which any of the four nations have so far announced.
The letter also highlights the fact that the ability of the Scottish Government and other devolved administrations to take action is curtailed by a lack of financial levers to deliver economic support, for example to the hospitality sector.
The First Minister said four nation talks should consider three inter-related questions:
- Based on the most recent data, what further actions might be necessary and is it possible to reach early four nations agreement on introducing them?
- Given that further restrictions will inevitably have an economic impact, what support is required for affected sectors?
- If it is not possible to reach a four nations agreement on further restrictions with associated support, what arrangements can be put in place to ensure that devolved administrations are not constrained in making what they judge to be essential public health decisions because they lack the financial flexibility to provide support to affected sectors or individuals?