Commenting on today's First Minister’s Covid briefing, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said:
“Today’s data is more than concerning. With 6,835 cases registered today and the potential for further increases ahead, it is hard to see the end of this horrific nightmare.
“The NHS is under enormous pressure with 230,000 scheduled operations lost, Test and Protect is still struggling after over a year and we still don’t have a definite plan to treat long Covid.
“The UK hit 60,693 cases on its worst day in mid-July. Scotland is proportionately above that now. This is unacceptable. The SNP’s mismanaging of the pandemic is clearly continuing without a possible end in sight. Mistakes made now could haunt Scotland for years to come.
“Our lives, businesses, and interests are at stake. Alongside putting in place proper support for our NHS, Ministers should be reaching out to everyone who has yet to have two vaccines to offer appointments and reassure anyone who has concerns."
On the First Minister suggesting that domestic vaccine passports could soon be introduced, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“The very fact that these proposals are still under consideration are an admission that the Scottish Government has failed to vaccinate fast enough, failed to keep case loads down and failed to deliver a workable contact tracing system.
“Before Nicola Sturgeon starts demanding that pubs and clubs start screening people’s medical info, she should reflect on her own government’s failings.
"Vaccine passports are illiberal and unworkable and would impose a huge burden on businesses which have already been hit badly by the pandemic. They cannot afford the extra costs of enforcing this chaotic system. What we need is a working test and trace system and a consent-based vaccination programme to get us over the line – not more gimmicky schemes.”