Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has been urged to explain why he “misled” MSPs over compliance checks that ensure travellers arriving in Scotland are self-isolating.
Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw made the demand as it emerged six cases have been reported to Police Scotland when someone is suspected to have not complied with the quarantine requirements.
Checks on travellers arriving in the country only began being carried out from Tuesday but Yousaf told MSPs on the Health Committee two weeks ago that these were already being done.
On June 23, he said public health officials were “contacting approximately 20% of travellers to give them public health guidance in relation to quarantining and self-isolation”.
The Justice Secretary has now written to the committee to correct that, stating that at the time he “believed it to be correct”.
It has since emerged the need for a memorandum of understanding to be agreed between the Home Office and Public Health Scotland delayed the start date for the checks.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, speaking at her daily coronvirus briefing, defended her Justice Secretary, saying: “The information he got was the information he thought was the case at the time.
“June 22 was when we had intended these checks would start but because of the reasons around the conclusion of the memorandum of understanding that took longer and the checks have now started.”
The First Minister said when Yousaf spoke to MSPs last month, police “had received no reports of non compliance with the self-isolation requirements”.
She added: “I am advised that as of today six reports of suspected non-compliance have been received by the police.
“But at the time Humza talked about compliance there had been none received and that was what he was referring to.”
Carlaw said: “It’s increasingly clear that Humza Yousaf misled the Scottish Parliament and he now has to front up and explain why.
“He can either do that at the First Minister’s daily briefing or to Holyrood itself – but either way he needs to account for these claims.”
He added: “Mr Yousaf very clearly not only reeled off specific statistics in relation to quarantine checks but said police had told him the compliance rate was very good.
“But now we know the compliance rate couldn’t possibly have been good as no checks were taking place on this.
“This is another embarrassing gaffe by Nicola Sturgeon’s increasingly exposed and ill-equipped supporting cast – Humza Yousaf has clearly taken some liberties with the police and now needs to come clean as to why.”