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‘No change to policy’ for Scottish oil workers in hotel quarantine

© DC ThomsonOil hotel quarantine
Scottish Conservative Liam Kerr

The Scottish Government has said there is “no change to policy” being considered for oil and gas workers stuck in hotel quarantine from red list countries.

In a written response to Scottish Conservative North-east region MSP Liam Kerr, energy secretary Michael Matheson stated that “no further engagement is planned” on the issue.

Oil and gas workers need to comply with international travel rules when arriving from overseas.

At present, travellers do not need to quarantine if they are arriving from green list countries.

Eligible fully vaccinated travellers from amber list countries do not need to quarantine but other travellers must isolate at home or in their own accommodation.

Oil and gas workers coming overseas from red list countries have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days at a cost of £1,750.

oil scotland quarantine © PA
Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson.

Mr Kerr has frequently raised the issue in parliament, stating last month that he had “yet another email” from a worker who was trapped in the quarantine situation.

He said: “Oil and gas workers are subject to the most rigorous Covid testing, have often been double jabbed and often haven’t left the installation.

“Yet they are forced to spend 10 days and three quarters of their wages in a hotel.”

Mr Kerr asked what discussions had taken place to allow workers from red list countires to isolate in their homes instead of hotels.

In his reply, Mr Matheson said: “No change to policy is being considered in relation to managed quarantine for oil and gas workers returning from work overseas, which applies only to arrivals from red list countries, and therefore no further engagement is planned on that question.

“Maintaining the highest level of protection for red list countries where variants of concern are known or assessed to be in community transmission is essential to guard against importation of variants of the virus with antibody resistance characteristics that could undermine progress made through vaccination programmes in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK.”





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