FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf and Scottish Secretary Alister Jack are set to give evidence to the UK Covid Inquiry during its Scottish hearings, it has been confirmed.

Yousaf and Jack are both set to appear in front of the inquiry, presided over by Baroness Heather Hallett, at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) on Thursday, January 25.

Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon's chief of staff Liz Lloyd will also give evidence that day, during the second week of hearings. 

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf: I was never comfortable with 'national' in SNP name

The UK Covid Inquiry will focus on methods employed by Scottish ministers between early January 2020 and April 2022, when the remaining Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in Scotland.

The FM and Scottish Secretary will be the first politicians to give evidence during the Scottish sessions of the probe, with Sturgeon and former deputy first minister John Swinney previously appearing at the inquiry in London.

Several high-profile Scottish officials will also give evidence, including chief medical officer Gregor Smith, national clinical director Jason Leitch and professor Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh. 

Experts in epidemiology, psychology and criminology will also give evidence next week.

The National:

We previously told how bereaved families, who lost relatives to Covid-19, urged Scottish politicians to "do better" than their Westminster counterparts during the opening session of the hearings held in Edinburgh. 

Claire Mitchell KC told the Inquiry that when Boris  Johnson and other Tory ministers were “presented with evidence or asked to comment on issues not in their favour”, they were quick to obfuscate and provide excuses. 

The KC added that families wanted to send a “loud and clear” message to politicians that “they want better”.

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And, on Wednesday, Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) general secretary Roz Foyer told the Covid Inquiry that Westminster "undermined" Scotland's more cautious approach to lifting lockdown restrictions. 

She criticised policies such as Eat Out to Help Out, spearheaded by then-chancellor and now Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and calls for workers to return to offices in England as contributing to "mixed signalling".

Lead counsel to the Inquiry Jamie Dawson KC, told the probe during his opening statement, that the Scottish Government had handed over 28,000 electronic messages from WhatsApp groups and correspondence between individuals.

He added that this included those in "prominent ministerial roles" and the content of those messages would be put to witnesses in coming weeks.

Previously, Jack came under fire for not handing over a statement to the Covid Inquiry on time.

And, Yousaf insisted that he has kept his WhatsApp messages from the pandemic after reports suggested that Sturgeon and Leitch had deleted correspondence requested by the inquiry.