Commenting on the Scottish Government’s newly published framework on Scotland’s exit from lockdown, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:
"This document must spark a national conversation on not just how we exit the lockdown but how we change our lives for the next few years.
“The lockdown is saving lives from Covid 19 but it is also impacting on our mental health and is exacerbating inequalities. Our plan must fully include ways of addressing these problems.
“The UK wide approach that has been adopted has been broadly effective at keeping the public health guidance clear.
“It is important that the Scottish Government backs up the need for clarity.
“Liberal Democrats are prepared to contemplate different measures for different parts of Scotland and the UK but we are not prepared to support being different for its own sake.
“There is a risk from confused messages from different governments and that has to be avoided to help keep people safe.
“We reject the knee-jerk reaction that the exit strategy either has to be different from the UK or must stay exactly the same as the UK.
“It is a balance. The more different we are in different parts of the country the more confused the public health message may get. Equally, if it is right that a sector of business or part of the UK should exit the lockdown in a different way then we will need to take the time to explain that in the public health guidance.
“The virus will be with us for a long time so we need start building a new way of working that lasts. Now is the time for considered decisions working with our partners in the UK, Europe and elsewhere. This is a global pandemic and requires an approach that considers factors in Scotland and beyond."