Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has said that the failure of SNP ministers to adequately promote its own advice that people should take two Covid tests prior to travelling to Scotland’s islands was a missed opportunity to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The Scottish Conservative MSP said: “Earlier this month, I directly challenged Nicola Sturgeon to explain to me how the Scottish Government was advertising and monitoring the compliance with its own recommendations for people to take two Covid tests before travelling to Scotland’s islands. Instead of an answer all I received was a political diatribe from the First Minister which told us nothing except how much she resents being questioned. Since then, despite me writing to Nicola Sturgeon repeating my questions, we have learnt precious little more from her or her ministers."
“This is particularly concerning given how we are seeing Covid rates increasing across Scotland, with the country now recording the highest number of new cases since the pandemic started and the highest percentage in the whole of Europe. And, of course, even in communities like here in Orkney, which have previously had very low levels of transmission, we have seen a number of cases linked to travel out with the islands."
“This surely only highlights why the Scottish Government should have been doing more to promote their own advice to use these test which, thanks to the UK Government’s lateral flow testing scheme, are free and return a result in about 30 minutes.
“The Scottish Government’s seeming failure to make the public aware of this guidance is a missed opportunity, and one with consequences for our island communities”.
The exchange between Jamie Halcro Johnston and Nicola Sturgeon is available here: https://www.parliament.scot/chamber-and-committees/what-was-said-and-official-reports/what-was-said-in-parliament/meeting-of-parliament-15-06-2021?meeting=13237&iob=119971#5800