The Scottish and UK Governments have been urged to work together to introduce an exemption to coronavirus rules that mean offshore oil workers are required to self-isolate on the mainland.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross made the call, suggesting special dispensation could help oil firms during the pandemic.
In a virtual speech to oil and gas sector workers, the Tory MP argued coronavirus guidance should be as “practical as possible for businesses”.
Mr Ross called on “UK and Scottish Government ministers to work together on delivering an exemption for offshore facilities from the need to self-isolate and test onshore”.
He accepted there are “necessary precautions” that must be followed to curb the spread of Covid-19 and said it is “right that there is mandatory testing” before workers go offshore.
But he said even if a worker has tested negative beforehand and could be tested again on the rig, if they are told to self-isolate they “must be flown offsite to self-isolate and to do another test”.
Asked about the issue at her daily coronavirus briefing, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said while the Scottish and UK Governments “talk about all sorts of things” she is “not sure if that particularly has been looked at”.
She added: “We look at advancing our testing programme all the time and we continue to do so, in line with very clear clinical priorities, which is what responsible government has to do.”
He said: ““It’s right that we push to expand the renewables sector, we all want to meet our climate change commitments and achieve the net zero target by 2045.
“But there is far too much focus on managing the decline of the oil and gas industry.
“We need to prepare for the future but the priority for me is the 100,000 jobs in the sector right now.