Uncertainty over how the easing of Covid-19 restrictions will affect Shetland is harming businesses and leaving lives on hold, a political candidate has claimed.
Beatrice Wishart, who is standing in Shetland for the Liberal Democrats, has today (Tuesday) called on the Scottish government to provide “urgent clarity”.
It has been a month since First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans to ease restrictions from 26th April. While the mainland is set to move from level four to three restrictions, Ms Sturgeon said she would consult with island communities on the options available.
Views were sought on whether folk would prefer to remain in level three, to allow travel between the mainland, or to move down to level two, which would require ongoing travel restrictions.
Although the consultation ended on 26th March, there has been no confirmation about its outcome.
Ms Wishart said: “Every day without clarity is another damaging day for businesses. Folk in Shetland are yet to see any clarity from the Scottish government on what it intends to do. The murky waters that we are currently in means there is no opportunity to plan ahead and lives continue to be put on hold.
“There is not one person who is not being affected by the current restrictions so I would have hoped the Scottish government would be more prompt in providing information.
“The consultation that was announced was all well and good but instead of meaningful engagement through it we have been left to feel like an after-thought.
“I do not under-estimate the difficulty of the decisions that need to be made and the tricky balance that needs to be struck. But it is time the Scottish government was clear on what the way forward is.”
Ms Wishart also called for more information on what progress had been made on testing people travelling into Shetland.
On testing at entry points, Ms Wishart also called for more information on what progress is being made.