MP calls for local Covid testing for offshore workers to avoid unnecessary travel

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus MacNeil has written to Jeanne Freeman MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health regarding offshore workers who require to take a Covid-19 test prior to returning to work.

Many islanders are employed across the world working offshore and their employers are routinely asking their staff to be tested prior to returning to their place of work.  NHS Western Isles will only test people with Covid symptoms. 

Commenting Angus MacNeil MP said:

“NHS Western Isles will only test people who show Covid symptoms and this means that workers are having to make needless journeys during this pandemic to all corners of Scotland to get a Covid test, potentially exposing themselves to the risk of catching the virus.

“These workers are getting tested at their own or employers’ expense and I know that there is capacity available in the Western Isles to carry out these tests. I have suggested to the Health Secretary that perhaps some arrangement could be reached that would be satisfactory to the companies, the staff and to the Scottish Government that would end the needless and risky travel across Scotland.   

“At a time of travel restrictions it seems counter-productive to expect people to do additional travelling to get a Covid test.  I would say the solution would be to enable NHS Western Isles to test these workers and a financial arrangement probably entered into. This would benefit the workers, employers and particularly public health.”