Thu 19 Nov, 2020

Many simply can’t afford to self-isolate or to step away from their caring responsibilities, or don’t have the space at home Alison Johnstone

Low compliance rates show more support is needed for those who lack resources or space to self-isolate, the Scottish Greens have said.

At FMQS the First Minister could not say whether promised access to hotel rooms for people self-isolating has happened.

Green parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone raised the issue after evidence provided by the chief medical officer suggested that fewer than one in four people who are asked to self-isolate actually comply.

This could be because they are in precarious work or cramped living arrangements.

Alison Johnstone said: “Self-isolation is a vital component in stopping the spread of this virus, so it’s important people are supported to do so. That compliance is so low is concerning, and it reflects how difficult it can be for some people. Many simply can’t afford to self-isolate or to step away from their caring responsibilities, or don’t have the space at home.

“In May the First Minister told me hotels rooms would be made available for people in these kinds of situations, but today she was unable to tell me if this is happening.

“Just as it has shown leadership in testing, New Zealand has also offered real support for people to self-isolate, including help with food and accommodation. If we are going to drive up compliance Scotland should look there.”

Alison Johnstone also asked the Scottish Government to respect the will of parliament when it comes to safety in schools.

“Yesterday parliament backed Scottish Green calls for more protections for school staff and senior pupils, including access to regular testing. The Scottish Government needs to get on with it.”

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