Health Sec must explain "glaring gap" between quarantine police reports and uncontactable cases

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called on the Health Secretary to explain the "glaring gap" between the number of people requiring to quarantine that the National Contact Tracing Centre is unable to contact and the number of cases being passed to Police Scotland. 

  • Between 22nd June and 16th August Public Health Scotland reported that 686 people requiring to quarantine and selected for spot checks were unable to be contacted.
  • Up to 5th August Police Scotland said it has received only 19 Public Health Scotland "travel regs reports".

Speaking in the Chamber on Wednesday, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman stated:

"The position is that, if they cannot reach an individual who should be quarantining by either the second or third phone call or by email, they will then pass on that information to Police Scotland, which will take whatever operational decisions it thinks fit. That is the right thing to do, because quarantining is critically important."

Alex Cole-Hamilton commented:

"People will be rightly puzzled at the glaring gaps in the numbers when it comes to quarantine orders for those coming in from higher risk countries.

"Public Health Scotland have recorded almost 700 people that couldn't be tracked down but only 19 referrals were made to Police Scotland.

"If contact tracers can't find people do they just give up? The public need to have confidence in this system and the strength of our measures to catch cases coming in from abroad. 

"If the system is lapsing in any area people will be vulnerable. The Health Secretary needs to urgently clarify this process."

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