COVID-19 Health Secretary discussions regarding restrictions post COP26: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

1. Can you confirm whether the Health Secretary has consulted with any advisors on the reintroduction of Covid-19 restrictions after COP26?

2. Any advice provided to the Health Secretary, including reports or analysis or modelling on the future state of Covid-19 in Scotland and any future restrictions, received between October 1 and to date.


In relation to your first question, in his capacity as the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Mr Yousaf has consulted on the state of the epidemic as part of regular engagement and advice received from clinicians and officials. However, decision-making regarding COVID-19 restrictions follows a rigorous process whereby Public Health Scotland, the National Incident Management Team, local partners and Directors of Public Health analyse the latest data and present their recommendations to the government’s lead health advisors and officials before a final decision is taken by the Scottish Cabinet, of which the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care is a member.

Scientific evidence and analysis are provided via the Scottish Government COVID-19 Advisory Group, details of which can be found here: Scottish Government COVID-19 Advisory Group - ( The Advisory Group interprets the outputs of SAGE and its sub-groups, and the latest publicly available evidence published by SAGE, along with other sources of evidence and information to ensure inform decisions in Scotland during the pandemic.

In relation to your second question, the Scottish Government develops a range of epidemic scenarios to provide the best public health advice to Ministers. These are presented in the Modelling the Epidemic report, and is publicly available on the Scottish Government website: Coronavirus (COVID-19): modelling the epidemic - ( These models consider a range of influences on the epidemic, of which COP26 is one. The Scottish Government will assess the impact of COVID-19 on the NHS in the next few weeks in terms of estimated number of infections, hospital bed demand, and ICU bed demand. The scenarios within the Modelling the Epidemic report account for the start of the COP 26 conference beginning in Glasgow on 31st October.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

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