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Coronavirus / Lib Dems welcome commitment to introduce island testing

THE SCOTTISH Government has finally given a commitment to consider introducing Covid-19 testing at island entry points, according to the three parliamentarians from the Northern Isles.

The isles’ Lib Dems have been calling for such a move since the end of last year.

On Friday afternoon, Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart and her Orkney colleague Liam McArthur met with public health minister Mairi Gougeon and islands minister Paul Wheelhouse.

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Both agreed on the need to look at how such a testing system might be made to work in practice, indicating they would welcome proposals from the island authorities and health boards.

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart. Photo: Shetland News

Shetland Islands Council is already on record saying that they would submit proposals to the Scottish Government on how to manage lateral flow testing at points of entry.

Wishart said: “Both ministers were constructive in their approach and I welcome confirmation that the Scottish Government is keen to work with the island authorities and health boards on proposals for testing at entry points to Shetland.

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“Having such a system of testing in place could give additional reassurance and confidence both to those travelling as well as to our island communities.

“Of course, implementing this type of testing will present practical challenges and throw up a number of questions about the best approach to take.

“However, the invitation from the Scottish Government appears to be an open one and so I look forward to working with Shetland Islands Council, NHS Shetland and other stakeholders to help develop proposals for how a scheme might be made to work effectively.”

There are no active Covid-19 cases in Shetland currently, with the last case confirmed on 9 February.

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