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Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Emma Gordon

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live on a day dominated by coronavirus developments

    Video content

    Video caption: Sturgeon - cancel overseas school trips

    That's all from Holyrood Live on Thursday 12 March 2020, a day dominated by the response of the Scottish and UK governments to the coronavirus.

    Gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled from next week, the Scottish government has advised.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said this was to free up emergency services, including police and ambulance crews, to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

    She said it was not yet necessary to close schools, but advised all overseas school trips should be cancelled.

    There have now been 60 cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Scotland - a rise of 24 from Wednesday.

    FM and coronavirus
  2. Holyrood remains open to the public, for the time being

    Ken MacIntosh

    The presiding officer updates MSPs on the parliament's response to Covid-19.

    Safety is all important, he says, but there is no change to public access to the Scottish parliament.

    He asks potential parliamentary guests with symptoms to stay at home, and says the situation may change.

    MSPs are being given expenses to employ new staff, if they need to.

    SNP MSP Bruce Crawford asks about surgeries, and whether they should continue.

    Ken MacIntosh says it's business as usual, but health advice may change.

    The Scottish Parliament adjourns, but you can continue to watch the prime minister's press conference with us here on this page.

  3. Holyrood: Health secretary confident about safety supplies for NHS staff

    Anas Sarwar

    Labour MSP Anas Sarwar asks about equipment for GPs, thanking the cabinet secretary for taking action on this issue in terms of concerns raised by doctors in Glasgow.

    Are there adequate protective supplies across the country, he asks.

    The health secretary says she is glad that what she has asked to be done has been done and she adds our NHS staff are critical to our response.

    She says at this stage there are continuous checks with the NSS about supplies, but we are confident those supplies are available.

  4. Holyrood: Advice has changed significantly

    The health secretary

    Tory MSP Jamie Greene asks how we communicate the new message - that people with symptoms should simply self isolate for 7 days and not call NHS 111.

    Social distancing is the key, answers Jeane Freeman, saying the advice has changed significantly.

    The NHS should only be called if the symptoms worsen, and the government will use broadcast and print media to get the message out, she says.

  5. Westminster: 'This is a long haul' - UK chief medical officer

    UK's chief medical officer Chris Witty
    Image caption: UK's chief medical officer Chris Witty

    The UK's chief medical officer says the actions taken so far by the government has delayed the virus taking hold - but they must move to the next stage.

    Chris Witty says it is all about timing, adding: "If you move too early, people get fatigued. This is a long haul."

    Mr Witty says he "cannot emphasise enough about washing hands" as it makes a real difference in the spread.

    But he reiterates the call for anyone, even with mild symptoms, to stay at home for seven days.

  6. Holyrood: Swab testing at airports ruled out

    Will there be swab testing at airports, asks SNP MSP Willie Coffey.

    That is not the scientific advice, says Ms Freeman.

    She offers to send him the research papers.

  7. Holyrood: The public should trust us

    Health Secretary Jeane Freeman adds: "We have a responsibility to help each other get through this situation."

    The public should trust our advice and judgement, which is based on expert scientific and clinical advice, she says.

    Measures on social distancing will be outlined in the coming days, she adds.

  8. Holyrood: Public sector workers may be drafted into social care

    Jeane Freeman

    Alison Johnstone of the Greens asks how low income households are being supported. Will there be flexibility on council tax? Will people be protected against eviction?

    Jeane Freeman says the UK government is addressing some of these issues with flexibility to Universal Credit payments.

    She says the Scottish government will be in contact with Cosla to discuss rent arrear issues.

    Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole Hamilton asks about continuity of social care for vulnerable people at a time of crisis.

    The health secretary says work is underway to redeploy other public sector workers, with discussions ongoing as to how such workers can be drafted in to the social care sector.

  9. Post update

    Quote Message: Things seem tough now, but remember, we will get through this epidemic... if we look out for each other and commit wholeheartedly to a national effort." from Boris Johnson Prime minister
    Boris JohnsonPrime minister