Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Orkney, Liam McArthur, has welcomed the announcement that lateral flow tests are being made universally available in Scotland ahead of the opening up of travel to and from island communities.
The First Minister made the announcement during the weekly coronavirus briefing where she also urged anyone planning on travelling to the islands in the coming weeks to take two tests before they depart.
Mr McArthur, who has been calling on the Scottish Government to introduce pre-departure testing since December, has welcomed the news but expressed frustration at the delay by SNP Ministers in making tests freely available.
Commenting on the announcement, Mr McArthur said:
"While evidence has consistently shown the importance of widespread and regular testing, the roll-out of this in Scotland has been frustratingly slow.
"For months now, I have been making the case, along with my Northern Isles colleagues, Beatrice Wishart and Alistair Carmichael, for such testing to be introduced for travel to and from our islands. There was an opportunity to do this ahead of any wider easing of restrictions, which would have allowed for any system of testing to be trialled.
"Nevertheless, I welcome confirmation that these tests will now be made freely available and hope that the public will respond positively. As travel restrictions are lifted and more parts of our economy prepare to re-open, it is important that this is done as safely as possible. The key to that will be greater use of testing."