THOSE people in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area who have to self isolate after being contacted by tracers can receive financial backing from a special support grant.

Following the First Minister’s statement in the Scottish Parliament chamber on Wednesday on further Covid-19 restrictions, Cowdenbeath MSP Annabelle Ewing, highlighted reports of people being asked by contact tracers to self-isolate and having to choose between ignoring that request, going to work and so risking spreading the virus – or losing their pay.

Speaking afterwards, Ms Ewing said: “I have received very worrying reports of individuals who have been told by contact tracers that they should self-isolate because they have come into contact with someone who has tested Covid-positive, but who find themselves being placed in the quandary of being forced to choose between going to work— and risking spreading the virus—or losing their pay.

“On the basis of such reports, I asked the First Minister to clarify whether she has received confirmation from the UK Government as to how much the Scottish Government will receive in Barnett consequentials to support those who cannot work from home and who lose their income as a result".

Added Ms Ewing: “The FM agreed with me that we cannot expect people to choose between self-isolating for the greater good and, because they have done that, being unable to pay the rent or feed their families, and as she, rightly, pointed out, people will not comply if that is the case, so it is important that we provide support.

“The First Minister stated preference for supporting people rather penalising them, accords with my own view and I am really pleased that details have now been announced of a package of support introducing £500 support grants for people on lower incomes who have to self-isolate and face a loss of income as a result.”