By Colin Beattie, Musselburgh MSP

NICOLA Sturgeon has now released the Scottish Government’s ‘route map’ for leading us through the Covid-19 crisis, which is available for everyone to read on the Scottish Government’s website.

As of today (Thursday), we will begin to work through the phases of our gradual emergence out of lockdown.

Whilst we all want to get back to normality, it is important that we strike a balance between protecting the public’s health but also in allowing people to have individual freedoms.

In phase one, you will be able to meet with one other household at a two-metre distance, as long as it is outside, and many outdoor sports such as golf and tennis will be permitted.

The overall message remains: stay as home as much as we can, to avoid a second wave.

I would like to congratulate Queen Margaret University on being awarded £92,242 from the Scottish Government to support it in rapid coronavirus research.

This will be sure to play a significant role across Scotland in understanding the effect that the virus will have.

Research such as this is fundamentally important in developing policies and treatment for Covid-19 and this will undoubtedly contribute to saving lives.

To commend this good news, I have submitted a congratulatory motion to my colleagues in the Scottish Parliament and I hope this will be well supported by them.

I would like to thank QMU for undertaking this work, and wish the researchers working in this area all the best.

I would like to thank community councils for all their work in supporting the local area through this challenging time.

I know that many have been making efforts to ensure people have access to food, prescriptions and also emotional support.

Our community councils often make huge differences in our community but receive little recognition for their hard work.