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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-00728
Asked by: Ross Greer, West Scotland, Scottish Green Party
Date lodged: 15 June 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what the total capacity will be of designated quarantine accommodation for university students arriving in Scotland for the 2021-22 academic year.

Current status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 5 July 2021


Answer

The Scottish Government carries out daily analysis of the occupancy levels in hotels and based on a projected increase in demand from our international students, work is underway to bring on additional capacity to meet this demand.

The Scottish Government has also been exploring with universities how student accommodation could be used in place of hotels for the purpose of managed isolation. In April 2021, Ministers agreed a statement of policy intent to permit student accommodation to be used for managed isolation for international students and students returning to Scotland following an educational exchange from a red-list country if universities can provide the necessary assurances the accommodation meets equivalent public health protection assurances as hotels used for managed isolation.

As a result the Scottish Government began discussions with universities on a proposed ‘pilot’ scheme to assess how the use of student accommodation for managed isolation would work in practice. Two universities have expressed an interest in the taking part in the pilot and guidance is currently being drafted. Officials have been engaging with Trade Unions and the National Union of Students on the proposed pilot.