Information on Cookies

To make the best use of our website, you'll need to make sure your web browser is set to accept cookies to ensure you receive the best experience.

For further information, please read our Cookies Policy.

Log In

Go To News
COVID-19 Licensing Issues: Looking beyond lockdown in Scotland and Wales Published Date: 26/04/2020


In Scotland, the paper - COVID-19: A Framework for Decision-Making - sets out the position during this ongoing period of lockdown and outlines the factors that must be considered as Scotland moves gradually to ease restrictions.

It also recognises that new ways of living – effectively a “new normal” – may have to be in place for some time to come, including likely ongoing restrictions or bans on gathering in groups, for example in pubs or at public events, for some time to come. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

'Today I am seeking to start a grown up conversation with the public about the complex decisions that lie ahead of us as we look beyond lockdown.

'As we have done all along, we will seek to inform the public with the best scientific advice possible, but the science will never be exact and we are in uncharted territory so we also need to make careful judgements and be prepared to adapt and change course as we go.

'We want to ease restrictions, but we cannot rule out having to reapply them should the virus run out of control.

'Every day we see evidence that this virus causes real harm, but so too do the lockdown measures we are taking to contain it. This is causing harm to the economy and living standards, to children’s education and to mental health and wellbeing.

'That is why we need to try to find a better balance than the one we have now, but as we do so we cannot take our eye off the need to suppress the virus and minimise the damage it does.

'It is only when we are sure the virus is under control that we can even start to ease any of the restrictions because the virus will not have gone away.

'As we start to lift the restrictions, the real risk is that COVID-19 runs rampant again so a return to normal as we knew it is not on the cards in the near future.

'What we will be seeking to find is a new normal - a way of living alongside this virus, but in a form that keeps it under control.

'Physical distancing and limiting our contacts with others will be a fact of life for a long time to come - certainly until treatments and ultimately a vaccine offer different solutions. But if we all keep doing the right things, there will be a way through – and we will find it, together.'

Read the paper: COVID-19: A Framework for Decision-Making


The framework for Wales 'Leading Wales out of the coronavirus pandemic' was published on 24 April, and states that the response will require four strands; improved surveillance, effective case identification and contact tracing, learning from international experience and engaging with the public.

First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford AM said:

'Tackling the coronavirus crisis has meant major changes to the lives of every single one of us across Wales. We have had to take difficult decisions in order to save lives and protect our NHS.

'The actions of every one of us have contributed to falling levels of infection in Wales, but the virus remains a very serious threat to us all and we cannot be complacent in any way.

'For that reason, as we consider lifting some of the restrictions, we must do so with great caution and on the basis of the best scientific data and analysis.

'We have all played our part in abiding by the restrictions. Looking ahead, I want to be open with the Welsh people as I consider, along with my Cabinet colleagues, how the restrictions might be eased.

'I want to use the coming weeks to engage in a conversation with people in Wales, to explain how we will take decisions and weigh up the risks and benefits of moving out of lockdown.

'I am mindful of the impact on families, jobs, health and wellbeing for all of us, but we cannot put at risk the sacrifices we have made. We will not do anything without being as sure as we possibly can be that we do not risk a second significant wave of infection, and therefore have to re-introduce some restrictions.

'I recognise that many people will be fearful about stepping back into a form of normal life – so this framework also sets out the evidence, principles, and public health measures that will make sure that everyone can have confidence in the approach to easing the restrictions.

'This framework, therefore, is based on three pillars. Firstly, it sets out the measures and evidence by which we will judge the current infection level and transmission rates for coronavirus in Wales.

'Secondly, it sets out a series of principles by which we will examine proposed measures to ease the current restrictions, grounded in both scientific evidence and wider social and economic impacts.

'Thirdly, it sets out how we will enhance our public health surveillance and response system to enable us to closely track the virus as restrictions are eased, and how this system will protect people’s health.

'Wales has maintained a national public health system, with a strong local presence in every part of Wales, and we will build on these strengths. This public health response will draw on the international evidence, building on our strong existing networks.

'Taken together, these pillars are the basis on which we will lead Wales out of this crisis in a way that keeps everyone safe and revitalises our economy as quickly as possible.

'The whole of the UK entered ‘lockdown’ in the same ways and at the same time, and our preference as a government would be that all four nations retain a common approach to lifting the restrictions. However, we have been consistent in making clear that we will take the right decisions in the interests of the people of Wales.

'Our approach here is to be open about those decisions, use the time we have to consider and review the restrictions, and to involve and engage people.

'This document sets out the basis on which we will do this, and contributes to the work underway across the UK to map out the way forward.'

Read the paper: Leading Wales out of the coronavirus pandemic