Covid-19 (Next Steps)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 9th July 2020.

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The First Minister:

The matter is as was set out by the justice secretary. What he said was what he believed was going to be the case—that the checks were starting on that day or, in fact, had started the day before. As I have narrated publicly on more than one occasion in the past few days, we now know that it took longer than we had thought that it would take to agree the memorandum of understanding with the Home Office that allows those checks to be carried out. Humza Yousaf has set that out. Also, when he spoke to the committee, there had been no referrals to the police for non-compliance with the regulations.

More importantly, the member might be interested to know that, as at 10.15 today, 94 checks had been made since they started earlier this week, and 72 were in progress. The case reports indicate that contacts are aware that they should self-isolate and that there is high compliance with that. I know that the Conservatives do not like good news on these matters, but that is some good news for them to enjoy today.

I come back to a central point. If the Conservatives’ proposition is that everything that the Scottish Government is doing is somehow not good enough, the question that they have to answer is this: how is it that prevalence of the virus in Scotland is five times lower than it is in England?