Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil is writing to Transport Minister Michael Matheson MSP, regarding the updated guidance about managed isolation https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-health-checks-at-borders/pages/self-isolation/ 

Exemptions do apply to some oil and gas workers arriving from countries not on the acute risk list and are in Scotland to carry out specific forms of essential work.   However, offshore oil and gas workers returning home to Scotland after working on a rig in another country will have to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel, even if it is from a country with a lower covid rate than Scotland, such as Norway.

Seamen and masters, inspectors and surveyors of ships who travel from countries not on the acute risk list are exempt from isolation. 

Commenting Angus MacNeil MP said:

“I have been contacted by oil workers who work in Norway.  These workers already have to leave home early in order to get a PCR test and they are now looking at spending 10 days isolating in a hotel before they can get home to their families.

“While there are some exemptions for seafarers coming from safer countries, such as Norway, oil rig workers are strangely not included. 

“Workers coming from acute risk countries will have to isolate in a hotel for 10 days before getting home as this list of countries has far less exemptions. 

“Workers even from the acute list of countries maintain that they are frequently tested, have strict procedures in place on the ships and rigs and each vessel is effectively in isolation.  Imposing hotel isolation before returning home is going to be extremely difficult.  They are working hard to support their families and perhaps they should be allowed to isolate at home, and of course subject to testing.

“I am writing to Michael Matheson MSP, Transport Minister to ask that he urgently reviews this decision, in regard to returning from acute and non-acute countries and to weigh up the arguments for each in turn, but certainly to bring oil workers in line with seamen and master mariners.

“Certainly Norway, has consistently less cases than Scotland of Covid, and seems strange to leave safer Norway, and the Covid disciplines of their oil industry there, to quarantine before being allowed limited liberty of Tier 4 in Scotland and its higher covid risk.”