Covid Scotland: Tories call for shift away from blanket measures such as face masks in schools under new road map

SNP ministers have been urged to shift away from blanket Covid measures and focus instead on protecting vulnerable groups.

The Scottish Conservatives said greater emphasis needed to be placed on personal responsibility.

The party called on the Scottish Government to progressively remove the remaining pandemic restrictions.

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Photo: Lisa FergusonPhoto: Lisa Ferguson
Photo: Lisa Ferguson
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The Tories said face masks in schools and vaccine passports should both be scrapped as soon as possible.

In a new policy paper outlining a road map to Covid recovery, the Tories called for a greater focus on advisory public health guidance to respond to future waves, with an emphasis on personal responsibility.

The party suggested a two-tiered approach with additional protections for vulnerable groups.

It also urged the Scottish Government to scrap its controversial Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill, which would make some emergency government powers permanent, including the power to close schools and businesses, enforce lockdowns and release prisoners early.

Other key recommendations include continuing to reduce the self-isolation period and publishing an interim report of the Scottish Covid public inquiry as soon as possible.

The Tories also want Test and Protect to be replaced with a smaller testing system, which would undertake representative sampling rather than mass contact tracing.

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane, a practising GP, said: “As we begin to navigate our way out of the pandemic, we need to put personal responsibility at the heart of the Government’s approach to dealing with the virus.

“This policy paper sets out a road map for our return to normality and makes several key recommendations for our longer-term recovery.

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“With the virus retreating, blanket emergency measures risk doing more harm than good to our health and wellbeing.

"We are calling on the Government to adopt a new, more targeted approach to Covid, which protects the most vulnerable, while rebuilding our public services.

“We are urging the Scottish Government to start tackling issues that have been put on pause, such as fixing our NHS staffing crisis so that burnt-out frontline health workers can cope and giving extra support to children whose education has suffered during the pandemic.

“It is time to move Scotland as close to normality as possible for as many people as possible.

"That is the only way that we can recover fully from this pandemic.”



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