HOLYROOD is set to meet throughout the summer for the first time since devolution to discuss the coronavirus crisis.

The parliament’s cross-party bureau has recommended keeping proceedings ticking over during July and to return in full on August 11, the days schools are due to reopen.

MSPs will be asked to approve the plan on Wednesday.

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Holyrood normally breaks for a two-month recess between June and September.

Under the plan MSPs will have the chance to meet each Thursday for hybrid online and in-person sessions tied to ministerial updates.

The Scottish Government will still to be expected to make major announcements first to Holyrood, with Nicola Sturgeon due to make statements on July 9 and 30.

In a letter to MSPs, Presiding officer Ken Macintosh said it would be a “very unusual summer”  for everyone in Scotland and the parliament was no exception. 

He said: “There remains an active need for scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“I hope you would agree that the Bureau’s proposals for the summer period strike the balance of enabling Members to continue to scrutinise the Government at this changing and uncertain time while avoiding any undue risk to Members and staff. 

“Although as Presiding Officer, I have powers to recall Parliament should the need arise, the Business Managers and I wanted to enable colleagues to make plans for the weeks ahead with as much predictability as is possible in these difficult times. 

“As always, the final say on Parliament’s sitting times remains yours, and the collective approach from the Bureau will be put to the whole Parliament to agree tomorrow at decision time.”

The Holyrood chamber has already been redesigned to cope with Covid, with 50 of the 129 seats stripped out to allow social distancing, and MSPs able to vote remotely from their constituencies.