Cameron backs Scottish Conservatives’ Covid recovery roadmap

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Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has said the Scottish Government should focus on jobs and livelihoods as Scotland emerges from Covid restrictions.

The MSP urged ministers to plan for a return to normality as the Scottish Conservatives published a Covid recovery roadmap which calls for blanket Covid measures – such as mandatory facemasks in classrooms and vaccine passports – to be progressively dropped.

Mr Cameron said: ‘The Highlands and Islands have taken a hammering from the pandemic as it is so dependent on the tourism and hospitality sector, which has taken the brunt of so many of the measures used to tackle Covid.

‘The Scottish Conservatives have produced a roadmap which provides a blueprint for living with Covid which would allow us to focus on building back our economy.

‘The measures proposed are balanced and sensible and a refreshing contrast with the SNP’s preoccupation with placing the current temporary emergency powers on a permanent footing.’

The Scottish Conservative paper, entitled Back to Normality, urges the Scottish Government to shift its approach to Covid-19, and sets out several key recommendations for moving beyond the pandemic, including calling for mandatory facemasks in classrooms and vaccine passports to be progressively dropped.

The paper calls for a greater focus on advisory public health guidance to respond to future waves, with an emphasis on personal responsibility. It suggests a two-tiered approach with additional protections for vulnerable groups.

It also urges the Scottish Government scraps its controversial Covid Reform 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 to support Scotland’s longer-term recovery from the virus, include:

  • Continuing to reduce the self-isolation period
  • Publishing an interim report of the Scottish Covid public inquiry as soon as possible, in order to help us learn the lessons of Covid and inform our recovery
  • Establishing a network of long Covid clinics to treat patients with chronic conditions
  • Ending the staffing crisis in our NHS so that it is better prepared for future healthcare emergencies
  • Investing in a national tutoring programme and school catch-up premium, to help children impacted by disrupted schooling

The full paper can be read online at: The Scottish Conservatives – Back to Normality.