Wed 3 Feb, 2021

It is disappointing that SNP and Tory MSPs allowed an ideological opposition to universality to get in the way of providing people with the support they need if and when they need it Mark Ruskell

Scottish Green proposals for universal support for people to self-isolate have been voted down by the SNP and Tory MSPs.

Despite being a vital part of attempts to drive down transmission of coronavirus, compliance in self-isolation remains worryingly low.

Proposals from the Scottish Greens included universal support in the form of tailored ‘supported isolation packages’ that would include financial and practical support such as accommodation, food, and any other essential services that may be required to allow self-isolate.

This approach has been successful in other countries and jurisdictions.

Mark Ruskell said: “We have the vaccine, but we are set to live with COVID for some time to come. That means we need test, trace and isolate to be as effective as possible.

“The Scottish Government has widened the eligibility for the self-isolation grant, but many barriers to self-isolation remain.

“Existing support seems to be reaching very few people, while too many people are being forced into impossible choices by employers between self-isolating and eating, or simply don’t have the physical space. Greens have been raising the use of hotels for months, but our figures show only 7 people in 20 councils have had access to hotel support in this way.

“It is disappointing that SNP and Tory MSPs allowed an ideological opposition to universality to get in the way of providing people with the support they need if and when they need it.”

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