A citizens’ panel set up to consider Scotland’s response to the Covid-19 crisis is to hold its first meeting.
The group of 20 Scots, selected to be broadly representative of the country, will consider the Scottish Government’s efforts so far in tackling coronavirus, as well as what ministers’ priorities should be as the pandemic continues.
The group will meet this weekend, and over the next three weekends, before producing a report which will be presented to the Scottish Parliament.
Members of Holyrood’s Covid-19 Committee will then consider the panel’s recommendations.
A range of experts will assist the panel, which includes citizens from all eight Holyrood regions, on areas such as public health, medical and behavioural science, epidemiology and virology, and the social, legal and economic aspects of the pandemic.
Covid-19 Committee convener Donald Cameron said: “In spite of the hope provided by vaccines, we find ourselves at a worrying juncture in this pandemic.
“Unfortunately there is a going to be a need for restrictions for months to come, and the way we respond in 2021 is likely to shape our economy and society for many years to come.
“Therefore it is critical that we have public support for government plans to respond to Covid-19, and that we ensure areas important to the public are prioritised.
“While the Covid-19 Committee is able to provide robust scrutiny and recommendations, it will be immensely helpful to this work to have the informed opinion of a representative group of citizens.
“We are very grateful to the panel members and experts assisting them for giving up their time, and look forward to receiving the final report next month.”