Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has backed businesses which are concerned about the confusing and opaque plans from the Scottish Government for changes to Covid restrictions in the isles. Business groups including the Scottish Tourism Alliance have voiced frustrations that there is no clear path for the isles in coming out of lockdown, while local officials and constituents have been confused by the Scottish Government’s survey on relaxing isles restrictions, which was open for just a few days last week, saw many complain about technical issues submitting answers, and involved no outreach to local councils.
Mr Carmichael said:
“Islanders and businesses need clarity from the Scottish Government on the future of restrictions in the isles so that we can have some confidence in the path ahead. What we have had is a cack-handed, half-hearted attempt at consultation which left most people more confused than when we started. It is as though Scottish ministers wanted credit for asking people’s opinions without going through the trouble of having to listen.
“Whether we move out of restrictions at the same time as the rest of Scotland or take our own path, the isles deserve answers from ministers now. This uncertainty either way is going to choke off bookings, investment and planning for the summer – and that is not something that most businesses can afford right now.”