Exactly six months today since full lockdown, Scotland is back in a mini-lockdown again. This time, only other people’s homes are off-limits. As in England, pubs will shut at 10pm. There are good reasons to be sceptical that these measures will be sufficient to contain the spread of covid-19. They appear suspiciously like applying maximum […]

Six months since lockdown, is ‘Test and Protect’ ready?


A panic about contact tracing in Minnesota, United States, spread after Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said that they were “contact tracing” protestors there.  “As we’ve begun making arrests, we have begun analysing the data of who we have arrested and begun actually doing what we think is almost pretty similar to our Covid [strategy]. […]

Why outsourcing and secrecy is the route to contact tracing and testing failure


The new “test, trace, isolate, support” strategy announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday was an important milestone in Scotland’s Covid-19 crisis. The paper sets out a distinctive Scottish approach to community tracing and testing, and thus is the first strategic disjuncture from the UK response to this crisis. As Common Weal head of policy […]

“Track, train, employ”?



Front-line workers are making their voices heard. The Scottish Government has been sent not one, but two, open letters from those we most rely on to battle Covid-19, expressing their unhappiness at insufficient and inadequate PPE. 100 medical professionals have signed a letter stating they have “grave concerns about the adequacy of what has been […]

Why testing is the problem that won’t go away