The UK Parliament's Scottish Affairs Committee launched an inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the four-nation approach, intergovernmental communication, scientific advice, policy divergence, and the impact of coronavirus on various sectors in Scotland.
The Committee invited written evidence on the following issues:
- How effective has the four-nations’ approach been in tackling the coronavirus pandemic? What improvements could be made to formal intergovernmental structures, such as the Joint- Ministerial Committee, in light of the pandemic?
- To what extent has the Four Nations’ Action Plan (published 3 March) been fit for purpose? How was it designed, and did it reflect the right balance of expert advice?
- How will the UK Government’s ‘stay alert’ message, announced on 10 May, impact Scotland? How effective was the coordination between UK and Scottish Governments, and their respective advisory groups, in relation to the ‘stay alert’ message?
- What implications are there for divergence in UK and Scottish Government policy in tackling the pandemic? Should there be further divergence between nations in easing lockdown restrictions?
- Have the UK’s funding package and support schemes been sufficient in supporting Scottish businesses, employees and self-employed people in Scotland? Have they been able to reach all sectors in Scotland?
- Has UK and Scottish Government policy around key workers been effective? What further policy changes are required to support: a) seasonal workers; b) social care workers; and c) other key workers?
- What more could the UK and Scottish Government do to ensure that Scottish key workers have been able to gain access to personal protective equipment (PPE)?
- How has the Coronavirus pandemic impacted a) the oil and gas industry in Scotland; b) the Scottish food and drinks industry; and c) the rural economy? What support ought to be provided by the UK and Scottish Governments?
- Have there been particular Scottish issues relating to coronavirus that have not been addressed by a Government response?
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