Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Coronavirus round-up: Nicola Sturgeon calls for country to show ‘debt of gratitude’ to overseas workers

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned of the “devastating” impact the UK’s new immigration rules could have on Scotland’s care sector.

Ms Sturgeon warned of the knock-on effects of Brexit and the Westminster government’s plans for a points-based immigration system which could see care workers ineligible to come into the country to work.

Hospital staff join in with the clap for carers.

Around 6%-8% of Scotland’s health and social care workforce are EU nationals born outside the UK and Ireland.

New rules surrounding salary requirements would see up to 90% of the roles in health and social care sectors excluded from being offered to foreign workers.

Speaking at the daily coronavirus press conference, the SNP leader did not rule out a campaign to encourage workers from the other three nations of the UK to come to Scotland — but said she would not do so during the pandemic.

‘Debt of gratitude’

She said: “We have, in the past, done advertising campaigns in places like London, encouraging people to think about the quality of life in Scotland.

“We will always, in other parts of the UK and the world, take great pains to illustrate and persuade people of all the many great things about living and working in Scotland.

“While the pandemic is something we are dealing with, then a key thing is trying to keep it under control.

“Scotland is an open and welcoming country. We have a need to encourage people to come and live here so, once we are out the pandemic in the not-too-distant future, we will get back to the job of encouraging as many people as possible to come and live and work in Scotland.”

Staff from Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow gather as they join in the applause to salute local heroes during a Clap for Carers moment.

She added: “The most important thing right now is for us all to recognise the enormous debt of gratitude that we owe and not to send signals, even inadvertently, that suggests that a portion of that workforce — because they have come here from other countries — are not as valued as others.

“That, unfortunately, is the message that the UK Government is risking in the decision they’ve taken around visas.”

UK scheme to encourage health professionals

The Home Office said its new immigration scheme would help health professionals “fast-track” through the UK’s programme.

Home Secretary Priti Patel

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “We are indebted to overseas health and care professionals for their tremendous contributions, not just in saving thousands of lives throughout this crisis, but for the vital role they play year-round.

“This new visa is part of our new immigration system making it quicker, cheaper and easier for the best and brightest health and care professionals from around the globe to work in our brilliant NHS.”

Six days of no deaths from the virus

Ms Sturgeon said there was still a very real risk of a second wave of the virus hitting the UK, but was cautiously optimistic as she pointed out Scotland had recorded a sixth day in a row of no coronavirus-linked deaths.

The First Minister said a total of 2,490 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for Covid-19 — no change on last Wednesday’s figure.

She said 18,368 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by three from Monday.

A total of 616 patients are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, up 66 from the previous day — and of these 12 were in intensive care.

‘Don’t bother’ going out unless you hand over contact details

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw visited a pub in his constituency on Tuesday, ahead of the reopening of bars and restaurants across Scotland on Wednesday.

Customers will be expected to hand over contact details when they visit, which will aide in the test and trace programme to try to limit the spread of the disease.

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw wears a face mask during a visit to a restaurant in Clarkston ahead of its reopening as Scotland prepares for the lifting of further coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Data collection is very important. It means that customers or staff can be notified if they come into contact with somebody who is subsequently found to have Covid-19.

“It’s therefore absolutely crucial to our test and protect system, and it’s one of the measures that we hope will help to build public and staff confidence as more premises reopen.”

Mr Carlaw encouraged people to “get out” to their local hostelries to help boost the economy.

He said: “I think people have got slightly institutionalised almost over the last few months – some have lacked the confidence to come back out again.

“I think it’s important to say ‘yes, we have to be acutely conscious all the time that the virus still exists but as long as people follow the rules, follow the instructions, follow the guidelines and operate within the safe environment people have worked to create, they can do it with confidence’.

“It is vital, because this is a huge sector for the Scottish economy, whether it be something local or whether it be the tourism that supports our many hotels across Scotland. It’s vitally important that this sector recovers and that people have the confidence to go out and support it.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in



More from The Courier Scottish politics team

More from The Courier