The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie has today written to the First Minister to ask for publication of the data surrounding the decision to release quarantine requirements for Spain.
The request is in the light of reports of scientific data from Spain which shows that the infection rate is currently three times higher than when quarantine was imposed.
Willie Rennie says that families and businesses could be out of pocket or their health affected if Scottish ministers can’t be clear about the basis of the decision.
The full text of the letter to the First Minister is below.
Dear First Minister
Quarantine imposition and release for Spain
Publicly available data shows that the infection rate in Spain was 8.76 (per 100,000 population) when the Scottish Government singled it out for retained quarantine on 8th July. Since then it has risen to 27.39 per 100,000. The news agency Reuters confirms that the rate has “tripled”. On July 7th 341 new cases of the virus were reported. On the 20th July the number was 1527.
This places a big question about the Scottish Government’s decision to lift the quarantine measures for Spain. Why did you release the quarantine from Spain when the infection rate was many times higher than when you imposed the quarantine?
If it was not safe to lift the quarantine measures three weeks ago how has it been judged safe to do so now?
People need to have confidence in the basis for decisions made during the pandemic. Families and businesses will potentially be thousands of pounds out of pocket, or their health could be at risk, if the Scottish Government suddenly changes policy contrary to prevailing public science.
You will know that I have taken a constructive approach throughout the pandemic and have supported your cautious approach, but I have increasing doubts that you are basing the decisions on sound science.
I would therefore appreciate if you could publish the detailed science which led you to the decision about lifting the quarantine measures for Spain. Because of the quarantine measures are being lifted on Thursday I am sure you will understand that the science should be published immediately.
Willie Rennie MSP
Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats