Tighter travel rules proposed as six cases of Omicron variant found in Scotland

The First Minister of Wales and Scotland have written to Boris Johnson calling for tougher travel rules.

Coronavirus samples
Coronavirus samples

Nicola Sturgeon has proposed tighter travel restrictions after six cases of the Covid-19 Omicron variant were identified in Scotland.

Scotland’s First Minister spoke at a briefing on the variant after the Scottish Government announced four cases are in the Lanarkshire area and two have been identified in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.

She said some of the cases identified have no travel history, which suggests there is a degree of community transmission, but said there is currently no suggestion this is either sustained or widespread.

Ms Sturgeon said she and her Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford have jointly written to the Prime Minister proposing stricter travel restrictions to help combat the spread of the new variant.

They propose arrivals to the UK have to self-isolate for eight days, with tests on day two and day eight.

Currently, passengers arriving in the UK from 4am on Tuesday will be required to take a PCR test by the end of their second day from entry and isolate until they receive a negative test, while 10 southern African nations have been added to the red travel list.

The First Minister also said she and Mr Drakeford had asked Boris Johnson to hold an urgent Cobra meeting with representatives from the four UK nations and to guarantee the Treasury will fully fund any business support required.

The letter states: “The emergence of Omicron poses a potential threat to the UK.

“It is clear that the strain is already here and that it appears highly transmissible.

“We need to work collectively – and effectively – as Four Nations to take all reasonable steps to control the ingress of the virus to the country and then to limit its spread.

“We are clear that a Four Nations approach to issues such as border restrictions is the most effective approach. This requires that a meeting of the COBRA Committee be held as soon as possible.”

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