Recommendations and Conclusion
The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (International Travel) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 are designed to protect public health and support the reduction of the spread of coronavirus, and are therefore designed to prevent harm to individuals living in Scotland. The coronavirus outbreak is a severe and sustained threat to human life in Scotland, and the Scottish Government is committed to taking all steps necessary to address that threat.
The measures may disproportionately positively benefit the health of the people who the disease more severely affects, such as older people, and those with underlying health conditions (and some disabled people are more likely to experience severe ill-health from contracting Covid-19 than the general population). There have been slightly more deaths among women than men involving Covid-19, although age-standardised death rates are higher for men. Covid-19 was a relatively more common cause of death for people in the South Asian ethnic group, compared to people in the white ethnic group.
However, some potential indirect negative impacts on one or more of the protected characteristics have been identified. Whilst the view of the Scottish Government is that these Regulations are justified and a proportionate means of reducing the public health risks posed by coronavirus, there is also a need to not only mitigate those negative effects identified but to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people, and the measures we have put in place are designed to help do this.
To assist in the mitigation of any negative effects and to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people, the Regulations also contain two safeguards:
- The Regulations will be reviewed every 21 days, in relation to the need for restrictions and requirements imposed under the Regulations
- The Regulations will cease 12 months from the day the Regulations come into force
Any negative impacts will be kept under close scrutiny, as will measures designed to mitigate them. We will also continue to consider any newly identified evidence in relation to the impacts of these Regulations and its operation, as it relates to each of the protected characteristics, and make further adjustments, as appropriate, in line with the requirements of the PSED.