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The aim of this document is to provide a sense of direction as we learn to live with, and eradicate, this virus. In some ways it shows us what our collective hard work and fortitude will get us.
To be clear, in every phase that hard work will include:
regular hand washing;
appropriate cough and sneeze etiquette;
being acutely aware of the symptoms of the virus;
engaging with the Test and Protect system; and
isolating if you have the virus or someone you have been in contact with has had it.
There will be times, like now, where progress feels slow. Sometimes that will be outwith our control, for example if we learn new things about the virus. Sometimes that will require us to double down on our compliance with the rules in place at that time. We also cannot rule out having to take a step backwards if the virus is starting to spread more rapidly again.
We will also need to keep each of the phases constantly under review as we learn to live with the virus and see the impact the suggested changes make. So we will need to be nimble and be able to change our approach as we progress. We will update this route map as we do so.
Ultimately, however, we will start to return to normal. We will spend time with our family and friends without using a screen, visit our favourite cafés, pubs and restaurants and see our businesses grow and innovate.
We have seen how this virus has impacted most on our poorest communities – bringing into sharp focus how inequality impacts on every aspect of an individual's life. Local public services, charities and communities have found new and remarkable ways of supporting individuals – from simply keeping in touch to providing specialist support in creative ways to some of our people most in need. These individual actions often make the biggest difference.
The crisis has also put at risk many industries and jobs and we will have to work to support businesses to innovate to recover and then return to growth and give our people the skills to adjust to the changes that lie ahead. That will require the support of our fantastic universities and colleges. We have made big changes already to cope with the virus: some of those we may want to keep, others we will need to learn from.
In the short term we will need to do more locally – support local businesses, build local supply chains, use local skills and build local demand. This will give us a strong platform to turn ourselves back toward the rest of the world.
And we will also look forward to welcoming the world back to Scotland, to our incredible landscapes, town and cities and to our festivals and culture.
To a Scotland which is greener, fairer and more prosperous.
This document sets out how we move carefully and safely towards that future and we hope that it helps every one of us think about our own part in that.