Commenting on new rules set to apply in Scottish prisons which would allow prison governors to limit prisoners to showers twice a week, restrict the provision of books and newspapers to prisoners and suspend counselling, recreation and educational activities, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:
"Its hard to see how preventing prisoners from showering will help slow the spread of this virus.
"Prisons face particular difficulties in terms of containing and responding to the virus, while healthcare provision that was already under stress becomes even more so in the context of over-crowding and self-isolation.
"In the midst of this crisis, prisoners still deserve to be treated with compassion and dignity. Ministers have been slow to explore alternative measures such as expanding home detention curfew which could temporarily alleviate pressures in the prison service at this difficult time."