Today Alex Cole-Hamilton asked the first minster about her government’s policy on parent and baby groups being limited to just 5 adults despite a larger number allowed in gyms, bars and cafes. In particular he asked the First Minster what the science was behind limiting classes to just 5.
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP remarked after the exchange:
“I’ve had so many emails from new parents asking for an explanation as to why people can gather in large numbers already in bars cafes and gyms, but there’s a different rule for toddler and baby groups. I welcome her commitment to seek further guidance from the Chief Medical Officer on greater flexibility here.”
“It's a difficult transition for anyone but the extra strain this is putting on their mental health is already having damaging effects to so many people.
“These new parents, especially the mums, will have spent lockdown shielding and separated from key friends and family groups. The impact of that on perinatal mental health cannot be overstated.
“I have heard so many heart-breaking stories about a time that is so precious for any family.
“I urge the Mental Health minister to look at this also, we need to understand why these rules are in place in order to justify the Government’s guidance on this. Already angry parents are signing multiple petitions to both our parliaments. They don’t get it and neither do I, it seems utterly inconsistent. People want answers.
“Moreover, the wonderful people who have these (often really small businesses) have endured their whole livelihood in jeopardy for months. They are facing closure and need to know if they should retain staff or shut up shop. We need to tell them the truth and be frank, because if the First Minister intends to keep this policy for the foreseeable future she needs to be upfront with both parents and business owners who run toddler playgroups. I won’t stop asking her until we get movement here.”