ALONG with everyone else, I had hoped things might have been back to normal by now, but we are all having to accept that ‘normal’ is a long way off.

Parliament is still meeting, but with very restricted numbers, and other MSPs participating virtually. My local office remains closed, but my team are working from home and finding ways to support constituents.

The Scottish Government has been trying to learn how to respond to Covid too, with recent decisions being made to try and keep education and as much of the economy as possible going. Hence the current restrictions, targeted at the Central Belt.

While I support the prioritisation of public health measures, my colleagues and I have begun to be more questioning of the decisions. The return of students to universities, for instance, seemed poorly planned, with a consequential rise in infection rates which surely could have been foreseen.

As for the two-week partial lockdown, Parliament forced a debate. The evidence for the decision to focus on pubs and restaurants was not convincing, and the confusion between cafes and restaurants unhelpful. My colleagues and I also wanted Government to commit to fully compensating businesses which had to close, but they would not. The promised £40m sounds like a lot, but will be spread thinly.

Finally, using health board areas to target restrictions was a mistake in my view. It meant East Lothian, with a relatively low infection rate, has been lumped in with Edinburgh, where infections are much higher. Targeting measures at local council areas would have been a more accurate way of applying them and would have treated us like the Borders, with a similar infection level.

Ministers are facing very difficult decisions, but those decisions do have to be open to question if we are to have confidence in them