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COVID-19 restrictions should be ‘proportionate’ says McArthur

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur says it is difficult to see why a nationwide approach to new restrictions has been taken.

Liam McArthur is to seek clarification from the Scottish Government on the rationale behind a blanket approach to lockdown restrictions.

The Scottish Government has imposed a nationwide restriction on social gatherings of no more than six people from two different households meeting at once.

The move comes amid a rising number of cases in Scotland, particularly in the Central Belt area.

Additional restrictions had already been in place in five local authority areas: Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow City, East and West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.

Of the 161 new COVID-19 cases today, 111 were reported by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (65) and NHS Lanarkshire (46).

The number of COVID-19 cases recorded in Orkney stands at 17, the last case being confirmed on Monday, August 31.

“In light of the recent increase of COVID-19 cases across the country, it is understandable that the Scottish Government would look to follow the UK Government in re-imposing restrictions on social gatherings,” said Mr McArthur.

“Nevertheless, the First Minister has repeatedly insisted throughout the pandemic that these decisions are guided by science and evidence.

“It is therefore difficult to see why these restrictions are being applied in areas, such as the islands, where there have been no new recent cases.

“I appreciate the need for messages on public health guidance to be simple and clear given the obvious risk of a second wave.

“However, a blanket approach to re-imposing restrictions risks appearing disproportionate and undermining public confidence in the decisions being taken.

“I will be raising these points with the health secretary and seeking clarification as to the rationale for this approach.”