Deputy First Minister John Swinney believes 'normal' Christmas could be possible 'if people are careful'
On Good Morning Scotland, John Swinney said that a ‘normal’ Christmas could be possible this year, but warned that the Scottish Government could not make any guarantees.
On the radio show, Mr Swinney said: “I think if people are careful, and as long as we continue to sustain the adherence to the baseline measures that we have in place, then I think people can experience a normal Christmas”.
However, he also described the situation as “unpredictable”, and said: “We have to look at the sequence of events, the acute threat that we still face from the pandemic, and make sure that we have in place the appropriate measures to protect the public to enable as much of life to go on as normal”.
The Deputy First Minister was then quizzed about the unclear situation surrounding vaccine passports by presenter Gary Robertson.
He did not say whether the scheme would be extended, as a final decision on the matter is to be announced next Tuesday. However, Swinney noted that the Government would give business owners as much notice as possible.
Speaking about the scheme, he said: “We're only doing this to enable the business community and members of the public to be able to enjoy life as normally as we can do.
"The alternative is obviously much greater restrictions which the government wants to avoid if we possibly”.
Responding to a comment made by a business owner, who said that there would be "an avalanche of cancellations” if the scheme was extended, Swinney said that he didn’t see why that would be the case, due to the high levels of vaccination within Scotland.
The Deputy First Minister was asked for proof of the success of the certification scheme. He said: "The evidence is that if people are vaccinated, it reduces the degree of transmission that they are unlikely to undertake.
"It doesn't remove it entirely, but it reduces it and it reduces the degree of serious illness they will experience as a consequence of contracting Covid”.
Swinney also said that the Government was considering adding testing as an element to the vaccine passport programme, however, he said that they had not come to a conclusion on this matter.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.