By Harry Bell
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has welcomed the announcement that from Monday 19 July, Scotland will move to level zero COVID-19 restrictions.
However, she has raised serious concerns about the failings of the test and protect system, and the need for continued caution to be taken as case numbers are still dangerously high.
Today the First Minister announced that from Monday, under level zero, the following changes will be made to current restrictions:
- Up to 15 people from 15 households can meet outdoors in a public space or private garden
- Up to 200 guests will be allowed at weddings and funerals
- Up to 10 people from 4 households can meet indoors in a public space
- Up to 8 people from 3 households can meet indoors in a private home
The mandatory wearing of face masks will still be in place for indoor public settings including transport and a one metre social distancing rule will still be in place for public spaces.
Jackie Baillie raised concerns directly with the First Minister following her statement, in regard to the experiences of those working within test and protect about the fact that the Scottish Government seem to be cutting corners and not providing the system with the support that it needs.
The MSP raised two cases highlighting the challenges faced by test and protect. She spoke of an 81 year old man who tested posted for COVID-19 at the end of June and was not contacted by test and protect for 14 full days, despite becoming seriously ill.
Baillie also highlighted a problem for a local constituent who self-isolated because she was a close contact of someone who had tested positive but because she had not been officially contacted by test and protect, she could not provide proof of her isolation and was therefore ineligible for claiming any self-isolation support grants.
Jackie Baillie MSP said: “Test and Protect is in crisis and the Scottish Government are not doing nearly enough to provide it with the support that it needs.
“If the First Minister won’t listen to my concerns, she should at least listen to those who work within test and protect who believe the government are cutting corners.
“The government’s inability to get test and protect under control and functioning is creating a real threat to public health.
“Urgent action is needed to address these issues and to halt the spread of this virus.”