Fri 11 Sep, 2020

Scotland’s COVID-19 testing capacity must be ready for the start of the university term, the Scottish Greens have said.

At First Minister’s Questions, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie raised the fact that the system had been overloaded when schools returned, with many parents having to travel hundreds of miles to access a test.

Patrick Harvie said: “We saw that the testing system broke down when children returned to school last month. With university terms commencing next week, we need to make sure the same doesn’t happen again, and that students are kept safe.

“The rise in infections in Scotland is concerning, but a blame game helps nobody. We welcome the clearer guidance about meeting in groups, but we must ensure the support and systems are in place so that they can be followed.”

Mr Harvie also raised concerns by teaching union the EIS over the provision of education for children with additional support needs under current restrictions, which prevents close contact and one-to-one support.

He said: “Additional support needs staff have told their union that on top of their normal job, some have had to take on the enhanced cleaning duties required at their school, including cleaning up bodily fluids, because of a lack of cleaning staff.

“It’s vital schools are given the resources and staff to ensure that everyone is safe.”

Get involved

More like this

FMQs: Students halls perfect environment for virus to spread

Thu 24 Sep, 2020

Packing students into university halls in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic was akin to the situation with cruise ships at the beginning of the pandemic, Scottish Greens Co-Leader Patrick Harvie MSP has said.

Speaking at First Minister’s questions this afternoon Mr Harvie noted that bringing people together from far and wide into densely populated accommodation has created the perfect conditions for the spread of the virus.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

Scottish Greens: Wages top-up no replacement to furlough

Thu 24 Sep, 2020

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that instead of extendin gthe furlough scheme, employees will have to be working for at least a third of their normal hours to qualify for a new jobs support scheme which will see the government pay the rest of their wages.

University testing sites vital say Greens

Wed 23 Sep, 2020

The Scottish Greens have renewed calls on the Scottish Government to accelerate the roll out of walk-through testing centres in university towns and cities after a spate of coronavirus cases were reported, including once instance in which 500 students were told to self-isolate in Dundee.

Scottish Greens Co-Leader Patrick Harvie MSP had repeatedly called on the Scottish Government to open these sites before universities terms started, but so far only sites at St Andrews and Glasgow Caledonian universities have opened.

Patrick Harvie MSP said: