Nicola Sturgeon urges Scots to avoid travel to England

The First Minister said the prevalence of coronavirus is lower in Scotland than in other parts of the UK.

Scottish border
Scottish border

Nicola Sturgeon has told Scots not to travel to England unless it is for “essential purposes”.

She made the plea as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be considering a second lockdown for England to curb the recent surge in coronavirus cases.

The Scottish First Minister said the prevalence of the virus is lower in Scotland than in other parts of the UK, after stricter measures were introduced north of the border in September.

That saw Scots barred from going into other people’s homes, and the Scottish Government also acted to close bars and restaurants across the central belt in early October.

A new five-level system of restrictions for tackling coronavirus will come into force in Scotland on Monday, which will see travel restrictions imposed on many Scots.

In Level 3 areas – the second highest tier in the new Scottish system and which affects the central belt including Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as Ayrshire and Dundee – people are urged not to go outside of their own local authority area.

In a series of tweets urging Scots to stick to the new rules, Ms Sturgeon also said people are being asked not to travel to or from England.

She said: “People should not travel to or from level 3 areas in Scotland and for now, we are asking people not to travel to or from England at all, except for essential purposes.”

Commenting on speculation about a lockdown in England, she added: “Prevalence of the virus is currently lower in Scotland than in other parts of the UK and there are early signs that the tough restrictions in place since we moved quickly in late September have started to slow the rate of increase.

“We will base decisions on circumstances here – though what happens just across our border is clearly not irrelevant to our considerations.

“In coming days @scotgov will consider data on the spread of the virus, as we always do, and take account of any developments in England.”

Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government would have to consider if “any financial support will be available now as a result of steps in England, which would not be guaranteed to Scotland later”.

But she added: “Most importantly, we urge everyone to comply with current restrictions, including on travel.

“Above all, we will do our best – in difficult circumstances – to arrive at the best and most rational decisions we can, with the priority of protecting health and lives.

“And we will set out any decisions to the Scottish people and @ScotParl in as managed a way as possible.”

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