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MSP: do not travel to the Highlands to self-isolate during coronavirus crisis


By Scott Maclennan

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Highland MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston.
Highland MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston.

Another Highland MSP has added his voice to calls for people who do not live in the Highlands to stay away during the coronavirus crisis.

Conservative member Jamie Halcro Johnston said: “You will be very welcome when this health crisis is over. Until then, you are not.”

He said: “Over the weekend, I was contacted by constituents concerned by the number of camper vans and other vehicles heading into communities across the Highlands and Islands, clearly hoping to isolate themselves from coronavirus.

“I raised this with the minister responsible for islands and for ferries, and I am pleased that the government has responded by restricting those who can travel to the islands to residents, those with essential need to travel and to supplies.

“However, this does not address the concerns of mainland communities across the Highlands and Islands region, and it’s important that more action is taken to stop people from outside the region travelling to the Highlands in the hope of self-isolating.

“As well as the increased risk of spreading the virus, it puts real pressure on local resources, as well as the potential for putting additional strain on already limited local health services.

“Thankfully, some campsites are now closing and turning away would-be visitors. But there’s the concern that some visitors will just look at wild camping.

“The message to anyone thinking of travelling to the Highlands and Islands to self-isolate should be clear – you will be very welcome when this health crisis is over. Until then, you are not.

“You should follow government advice and stay at home”.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says people looking to self-isolate in remote areas in Scotland are risking undermining health services

Highland MSP and Scottish Government finance minister Kate Forbes urges people not to use the Highlands as a base for self-isolation


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