Rennie presses FM over testing of students


Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today pressed the First Minister over whether students arriving at Scottish universities will be tested for Covid-19.

His call comes as Professor and Chair of Global Public Health at Edinburgh University Devi Sridhar said: "To re-open safely, universities have to... Test all students on arrival & 5 days later."

However responding to Mr Rennie, the First Minister disputed whether these measures would catch asymptomatic arrivals.

Speaking after the exchange Mr Rennie said:

"Within the next few weeks up to 50,000 international students will be travelling to Scottish Universities. It will probably be the biggest single influx of people into the country since the start of the pandemic.

"International students are important for our world class universities and they are welcome here but they will be arriving from virus hotspots including the USA.  

"One of the First Minister’s advisers Devi Sridhar is now recommending mass testing of all students on arrival and five days later.

"Universities have been planning for months, following government guidance but none of them are ready to mass test all students twice in a week.

"The First Minister warns that testing would not catch every single case of Covid-19, however it can play an important part in keeping students, staff and local communities safe.  

"The First Minister regretted not testing all new residents in care homes.  I don’t want her to make the same mistake again."


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