Test and trace app mustn't exacerbate digital divide

Holyrood's new Covid-19 Committee met for the first time today and Liberal Democrat representative Beatrice Wishart MSP questioned Mike Russell, as the minister leading Scotland's emergency legislation, on plans to roll out test and trace procedures and how the government will ensure that any technological solution works for remote and rural communities where digital provisions are less comprehensive.

Speaking after the meeting, Beatrice Wishart commented:

"If we are going rely on technology to track people who've encountered the virus we need to ensure the solution works for areas where communications are unreliable or intermittent. 

"We've seen shocking statistics on how rural communities could face much higher death rates from Covid-19. Any technological solution needs to be built in such a way that it accounts for the existing digital divide, otherwise it won't offer people in remote and rural areas the same level of protection.

"Technology too often fails them, and this can't be the case for any track and trace system. This is something I expect the committee and the government to examine in detail."

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