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by Gemma Fraser
23 March 2021
COVID-19 public inquiry “a priority” says Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon with a face mask - Image credit: Jane Barlow/PA Wire/PA Images

COVID-19 public inquiry “a priority” says Sturgeon

Establishing a public inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland is a priority, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed as Holyrood marked the one-year anniversary of the first national lockdown.

The First Minister said lessons needed to be learned and questions answered about the way the Scottish Government responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to almost 10,000 deaths in Scotland.

Her commitment to establishing a statutory public inquiry came after she met with families who lost loved ones to the virus.

Sturgeon told parliament on Tuesday: “Yesterday, I met with representatives of families bereaved as a result of COVID, and I want to pay tribute to their strength and resolve.

“In that discussion, I acknowledged – as I have done before – that the Scottish Government did not get everything right in our response to the pandemic. I don't think any government did.

“It is vital that we reflect on that and that we learn lessons from that, which is why I also confirmed that establishing a statutory public inquiry will be a priority for this government if we are returned at the election.”

The First Minister thanked the collective efforts of everyone in Scotland over the past year, which she described as the “most difficult, challenging and exhausting year of our lives”.

In particular, she paid tribute to NHS staff, police, teachers, local authority employees, businesses, community groups and third sector organisations.

Sturgeon also confirmed that the Western Isles will move from level four to level three restrictions on Wednesday at 6pm.

The rest of mainland Scotland will remain under the stay at home restrictions until April 2, when this will be replaced by a ‘stay local’ message for at least a three-week period.

Public buildings cross the country will be lit up in yellow on Tuesday evening to mark the one year anniversary of the first national lockdown.

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