Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making

Sets out challenges Scotland faces and outlines the approach and principles that will guide us as we make decisions about transitioning out of the current lockdown arrangements.

Our Approach and Principles

Our Approach

  • Suppress the virus through compliance with physical distancing and hygiene measures, ensuring that the reproduction number remains below 1 and that our NHS remains within capacity
  • Care for those who need it, whether infected by the virus or not
  • Support people, business and organisations affected by the crisis
  • Recover to a new normal, carefully easing restrictions when safe to do so while maintaining necessary measures and ensuring that transmission remains controlled, supported by developments in medicine and technology
  • Protect against this and future pandemics, including through effective testing, contact tracing and isolation
  • Renew our country, building a fairer and more sustainable economy and society

Our Principles

These are the principles by which we will make our decisions:


We will ensure that transmission of the virus remains suppressed and that our NHS and care services are not overwhelmed.


We will respect the rule of law which will include ensuring that any restrictions are justified, necessary and proportionate.


We will use the best available evidence and analysis.

Fair & Ethical

We will uphold the principles of human dignity, autonomy, respect and equality.


We will provide clarity to the public to enable compliance, engagement and accountability.


We will consider the viability and effectiveness of options.


We will work with our partners and stakeholders, including the UK Government and other Devolved Nations, ensuring that we meet the specific needs of Scotland.



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