The percentage of spot checks carried out on people required to quarantine on entry to Scotland has dropped to 8.7%, figures indicate.
Scottish Liberal Democrat analysis of Public Health Scotland’s most recent statistics shows of the 9,223 people who were required to quarantine in the week ending August 30, 801 were called by the National Contact Tracing Centre.
The percentage contacted in this way has fallen for three weeks, from 10.3% the previous week and 14% before that.
Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said the situation is “ridiculous” and risks public safety.
He said: “It’s frankly ridiculous that despite my weeks of questioning the blatant failings with the quarantine spot check system haven’t been ironed out.
“The Justice Secretary told me he wanted to see the spot check numbers rise but we have it here in black and white that they’re sloping off already.
“Quarantine is an incredibly important part of the puzzle that will keep us all safe.
“The government hasn’t got a clue where hundreds of people are and they aren’t doing enough to remedy that.”
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf told Holyrood’s Health and Sport Committee last week: “I would like to see Public Health Scotland exceed the number of people that they are already contacting, because the more people who are contacted, the larger the sample size and the greater confidence we can have in the numbers.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The National Contact Tracing Centre contacts 100% of travellers returning from high-risk countries by email, they then follow up with around 20% of travellers, up to a maximum of 450 per week.
“At the time this was considered to be a robust sample size given the number of flights and passengers affected.
“As the number of flights into Scotland has increased, the National Contact Tracing Centre has been exceeding our target and contacting around 600 returning passengers per week.
“The percentage figure will fluctuate week by week, depending on the number of people requiring to quarantine.
“An additional £1 million of Scottish Government funding has been confirmed this week to recruit and train up to 25 new contact tracers, with an aim from the beginning of October to contact up to 2,000 passengers per week.”