Murdo Fraser accuses SNP Government of a 'lack of consistency' in Covid rules and guidance



Murdo Fraser MSP has accused the SNP Government of a “lack of consistency” and “unclear messaging” through their Covid rules and guidance.


The Scottish Conservative politician feels that a series of recent incidents have highlighted how many people feel there is one rule for one, and one for another, and that the confusion has led to the public health messaging being undermined.


Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, raised the points during a recent debate at Stage 3 of the Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Bill at Holyrood.


Commenting, he said: “At the heart of this Bill process lies an essential contradiction. On the one hand we had the First Minister telling us in the Parliament Chamber that things were getting better and that we should be back to some degree of normality, all being well, by mid-August.


“In contrast, the Deputy First Minister said that extraordinary and unprecedented powers for Ministers must be extended, at least for another six months and potentially for another six months beyond that. In the worst-case scenario, they could be in place for a year and two months – that is quite extraordinary.


“This confusion, this lack of consistency, cuts right across the SNP Government approach to Covid, and I know from communications from constituents how concerned they are about it.”


Mr Fraser continued: “Many people simply can’t understand why it is that they are unable to attend graduation ceremonies for children leaving nursery, or can’t stand in a field, socially distanced, to watch their children’s sports day, when the Scottish Government has sanctioned 3,000 fans gathering together in the fan zone in Glasgow, where, if our TV screens are to be believed, very little social distancing was being enforced.

“Similarly, people can’t understand why a travel ban has been introduced for Manchester, when we have seen a very similar case rate in the city of Dundee, but no steps taken to restrict travel in and out of that city, when we have a ban affecting Manchester.


“In addition, we have just seen a spike in the number of Covid cases in Scotland, particularly among young males, which may well be attributable to people gathering to watch the Euro football tournament. I am aware of one busload of Scotland supporters which travelled back from London at the weekend, and where every single person on the bus subsequently tested positive for Covid.


“It is this lack of consistency and lack of clear messaging that is undermining public health messaging.”


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