Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has today secured a commitment from the Scottish Government for testing to be introduced at island entry points.
Ms Wishart wrote to the Transport Secretary in December, alongside Northern Isles colleagues Liam McArthur and Alistair Carmichael, calling for this additional safeguard to be put in place for Orkney and Shetland.
Ms Wishart and Mr McArthur subsequently met with the Minister for Public Health, Mairi Gougeon and the Islands Minister, Paul Wheelhouse today (Friday) to discuss the option. Both Ms Gougeon and Mr Wheelhouse agreed on the need to look at how a such a testing system might be made to work in practice, indicating they would welcome proposals from the island authorities and health boards.
Following the meeting, Ms Wishart said:
“Both Ministers were constructive in their approach and I welcome confirmation that the Scottish Government is keen to work with the island authorities and health boards on proposals for testing at entry points to Shetland.
“Having such a system of testing in place could give additional reassurance and confidence both to those travelling as well as to our island communities.
“Of course, implementing this type of testing will present practical challenges and throw up a number of questions about the best approach to take. However, the invitation from the Scottish Government appears to be an open one and so I look forward to working with Shetland Islands Council, NHS Shetland and other stakeholders to help develop proposals for how a scheme might be made to work effectively.”