Woman fears not seeing dying dad due to Scotland quarantine rules

·2-min read
Left to right: Rebecca McCarron, Laura Soutar and Iain Soutar (Soutar family)
Left to right: Rebecca McCarron, Laura Soutar and Iain Soutar (Soutar family)

A British woman fears she will be unable to visit her dying father due to Scotland’s strict quarantine rules.

Laura Soutar, who works in Dubai, is trying to get home to see her father Iain who has terminal cancer and is receiving pallative care.

The family, from Milngavie, Scotland, have pleaded with the SNP to grant her an exemption from quarantine but they have refused.

Ms Soutar is currently quarantining in Majorca and fears she will not make it home in time to give her dad "a final hug".

The United Arab Emirates is currently on the Government’s red list and anyone returning from the UAE must self-isolate for 10 days in a government-approved quarantine hotel.

As Ms Soutar flew via the Balearic Islands, which are currently on the green list, her family hoped the Government would allow her to enter Scotland sooner.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf told BBC Scotland he had asked his team to look again at the case with the "urgency this requires".

"My heart goes out to the Soutar family. Having seen the case highlighted, I have asked the team who look at the decisions on exemptions to look at the case again and review it,” said Mr Yousaf.

"Government ministers don’t make those decisions and don’t tend to intervene in exemption decisions because we get so many of them.

"I am asking the team with the urgency this requires to look again at this case."

If Ms Soutar, who is fully vaccinated, returns to Scotland now she would have to restart her 10-day isolation period in a hotel. She would be allowed to make a visit to her father before returning to self-isolation.

But if she completes her 10-day isolation in Majorca, she would not arrive in Scotland until Tuesday and says the delay has been “unbearable” as her father may only have days to live.

Laura’s sister Rebecca McCarron, who is at home with their father, said a speedy decision is vital.

“We are grateful to Mr Yousaf for looking in to our case further but we don’t have time to waste. We need a decision as soon as possible,” she said.

“These days are crucial for us and anything that can help Laura get home, even a day earlier, would mean the world to my family.

“We feel compassion needs to be shown given Laura is fully vaccinated.”

Party leader Douglas Ross called the case “heartbreaking”.

“This is a heartbreaking case and the government has to be more flexible in situations like this,” he said.

“There are times where it’s right to make an exemption and this is undoubtedly one of those rare instances.

"Refusing to give Laura the chance to hug her father and be with her family throughout this difficult time is heartless.

“This decision must be changed immediately, before it’s too late."

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