Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 13th July 2021.

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The First Minister:

Test and protect is operating effectively—it is not cutting corners—and we will not need a wake-up call because we have already taken action to make sure that test and protect can perform at the level that people expect.

The WHO standard is important, which is why I have talked about it. Last week, test and protect did not meet that standard. We will see the latest figures later this week; I hope to see an improvement. We will continue to make sure that we are supporting the system to perform in the way that it needs to perform.

I not an expert on the detail of test and trace in England but, as I understand it—I can be corrected if I am wrong—some of the changes that we have introduced to make contact tracing more effective, for example more use of text messaging, are methods that have been in place and in use in England for a long time under the test and trace system that Annie Wells’s party oversees. Some changes would not be appropriate, but it is important that we do not close our minds to changes that are about making the system more efficient and more productive, so that it gets to more people more quickly.