Jackie Baillie MSP has welcomed recommendations from the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport committee urging that all passengers arriving into Scotland should be tested for Coronavirus on arrival.

The Committee consider that “there is a high risk of infection being brought to Scotland from travellers arriving here carrying the virus” and testing on arrival is an important health protection measure and will aid reduced quarantine times.

The Committee also recommended that spot checks on persons subject to quarantine need to increase and be substantially in excess of the target figure, currently at 20 per cent.

The SNP has previously voted against a Scottish Labour motion to bring forward options for airport testing and follow-up tests for coronavirus, and Jackie Baillie MSP is again calling on the SNP to end its opposition to airport testing.

Jackie Baillie MSP for Dumbarton Constituency said:

“The committee’s findings are encouraging but not surprising. I have raised this very issue before with the Scottish Government, pointing out the detrimental economic impact of quarantining with a policy that only employs spot checks rather than comprehensive testing on arrival.

“Not only is the 14-day quarantine policy deeply damaging for jobs especially in the local Tourism and Hospitality industry in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute, this voluntary measure is not sufficient from a public health point of view with only 10 per cent of passengers since June receiving spot checks.

“The SNP Government must drop its opposition to airport testing and introduce it across the country, not only because it could help us cut the quarantine time down to eight days but because it makes more sense for public health and helps with aviation sector jobs.

“We are at a crucial time in the pandemic with more countries still being added to the quarantine list. It is more imperative than ever that the government shows flexibility and examines all options on the table, including a full roll-out of testing for air, land and sea passengers on arrival from outside the UK.”

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