MAY I start by taking this opportunity to wish readers well for the year ahead. I think we were all glad to see the back of 2020 – a year that many of us would like to forget.

But the start of 2021 will still be tough with all of mainland Scotland entering Tier 4 after Christmas with these restrictions being further tightened last week.

With cases at very high levels and a more contagious strain of the virus present in the community, it is more important now than ever that we stick to the government guidelines.

And there is light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are our route out of this pandemic and the UK has led the way on ensuring that these are approved as quickly as is safely possible.

We now have three vaccines approved for use in the UK, two of which have already started to be distributed to the most vulnerable.

And we can only do this in Scotland because of the amazing efforts of the UK Government to secure early access to 367 million doses of the seven most promising vaccine candidates.

It is incredibly important that the roll out of the vaccine is managed effectively, but there seems to be something of a postcode lottery.

The Scottish Conservatives have received reports that thousands of primary care staff and GPs are still waiting to receive their jab, which they were supposed to have before administering it to others.

Many residents over 80, including some in Forth Valley, have yet to be contacted about an appointment despite people in England having been contacted.

The flu vaccination programme last year was a disaster with people having to travel long distances to get their jab.

There is a real concern that Scotland is lagging behind the rest of the UK when it comes to the coronavirus vaccine.

After pressure from the Scottish Conservatives, the Scottish Government agreed to publish daily vaccination figures, but we need to see a clear timetable for the roll out.

The buck stops with the Scottish Government and they need to get a handle on this situation quickly.

The renewed restrictions have seen a return to online learning, but despite having months to plan, the SNP Government were not ready for this

For example, nearly 38,000 devices for pupils who do not have their own have not yet been distributed

If online learning continues into February, the Scottish Conservatives want to the Scottish Government the budget for remote education doubled to £50million.

We also want to pupils who cannot learn from home to be allowed to go back to school.

Given the need tackle problems like these during this pandemic, it is disappointing that the Scottish Government are still calling a second referendum an 'urgent priority'.

They have not ruled out holding another referendum this year, nor have they ruled out using vital parliamentary time to pass a referendum bill before the elections in May.

The Scottish Government owe it to people to focus its efforts on fighting the pandemic and improving the vaccine roll out—not reopening the constitutional question.