Covid-19 (Asymptomatic Workforce Testing)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 27th May 2020.

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Photo of Liam Kerr Liam Kerr Conservative

Our offshore oil and gas industry has continued to operate since lockdown began. However, Oil & Gas UK has made it clear to me this week that in order for it to return to pre-Covid manning levels, testing of asymptomatic people is essential. It also tells me that it has made a strong case for having the asymptomatic workforce tested, as long as that has no impact on national health service staff and front-line care workers.

Will the First Minister update Parliament on when we can expect testing of asymptomatic people to start, and will she say what the hold-up has been?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I am pretty sure that Liam Kerr has heard me talk many times about the issues around testing of asymptomatic people. Because we have more evidence about asymptomatic transmission, we are expanding testing, but we have focused on care home workers and residents.

All key workers who are part of the country’s critical infrastructure have access to testing when they are symptomatic, as do their wider families. We will continue to take an approach that is based on evidence and advice on the clinical benefits and efficacy of testing. We will also continue to keep Parliament updated.