North East MSP Liam Kerr wants a review of quarantine rules for oil and gas workers returning from overseas.
Mr Kerr has written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, asking for a “reassessment” of the rules.
He said he had been contacted by constituents concerned they are having to spend “75% of their salary” while spending 10 days of their allocated 14 field break days in quarantine hotels after returning from the Middle East.
The Scottish Government said it had introduced measures for those returning from North Sea platforms via “non-acute” countries, but there would be “no exemptions” from those “acute risk” countries including the United Arab Emirates.
Claim workers left without seeing families
Mr Kerr said: “Nicola Sturgeon told me at First Minister’s Questions that she would write to me with clarification on the issue – however, I have received no correspondence and that sums up the SNP’s handling of the quarantine situation for oil workers – it’s been a complete mess.
“I’m calling on the Scottish Government to set a date on when a review will be carried out on the situation for those who will barely be able to see their families for months if this continues.
“Oil workers abroad face spending less than seven days with their families over an eight-week period for just doing their job.
“So many answers have been avoided by the SNP Government, who have their head in the sand on this issue because they know what a shambles it has been.
“Hundreds of north-east workers are based in the likes of the Middle East and have been treated as an afterthought through this whole process – it’s a disgrace.
“They have absolutely no idea how long this will go on for and have been given no clarification whatsoever.
“I will continue to push for answers and have demanded a quick response on the issue.”
In his letter to Ms Sturgeon, Mr Kerr said: “The answer to this is a major issue and concern in the north-east and many companies and families are desperate for both your response but also some comfort that they may be able to spend their field break with their families or at least that a review might be imminent.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “It is vital that we do everything possible to prevent the importation of Covid-19, and clearly we cannot risk variants from international travel undermining the deployment of vaccines.
“We have introduced regulations to ensure those travelling from an installation in the North Sea who have transited via a non-acute risk country or territory are not required to stay in managed accommodation but must to stay in specified premises.
“However, there are no exemptions for oil and gas workers who have been to, or travelled through, an acute risk country in the previous 10 days prior to their departure.”
Support The Courier today.
The Courier is committed to delivering quality content to our communities and right now that’s more important than ever — which is why our key content is free. However, you can support us and access premium content by subscribing to The Courier from just £5.99 a month. Because Local Matters.Subscribe