The Scottish Government will “look again” at providing hotel rooms for people forced to self-isolate, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The comments come after figures from the Scottish Government showed just 26% of applications for self-isolation support grants were approved in October and November.
Scottish Greens leader Patrick Harvie criticised the figure, urging the Scottish Government to be more proactive in its approach to self-isolation.
In response, the First Minister said: “Where people do not meet those criteria (for self-isolation support grants) then they will be signposted to other support and the outreach service – that local authorities do – can offer other support and we will discuss with local authorities whether they feel there is, right now, a demand coming through that for things like hotel accommodation.
“We can certainly look again, as we did last year, at whether that should become part of the offer we make to people.”
Sturgeon added: “We will always look to see what more we can do.
“While it is really difficult for people in any circumstances to be asked to self-isolate, there certainly is not a suggestion that routinely people are not doing that. People are doing the right thing.”
Despite the First Minister’s answer, Harvie said it was “frustrating that we’re being told this issue will be looked at again”.
He added: “I’ve lost count of the number of public health experts who’ve been raising this for months now, as we have, and saying that it needs to be much more proactive.
“If we expect cases to remain high and continue to rise, this needs to be in place already.”
The First Minister said changes were considered “on an ongoing basis”, adding: “We will never get to a point in this pandemic where we will say we’ve done enough and we will not look at doing more.
“So that is an ongoing commitment that I think is important to make.”