UK borders ‘still a bit too leaky’ says Nicola Sturgeon
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The Scottish First Minister has said tougher quarantines rules will apply above the border even if a UK-wide deal cannot be reached. The Scottish Government this week unveiled plans that will see every person arriving from overseas at Scottish airports quarantine for 10 days in a hotel.
But the UK Government has said only travellers to England from “red list” countries will have to do so.
While the SNP-led Government is lobbying ministers in England to tighten rules, Ms Sturgeon has said the outcome of talks will have no effect on Scotland’s rules.
Ms Sturgeon told the regular coronavirus briefing on Thursday: “We won’t scale back our own plans.
“If we can’t persuade the UK Government to introduce similar plans, it’s entirely their prerogative to make these decisions, I’m not being critical here. We just have a difference of opinion on this which is fair enough.
“If we can’t persuade them to emulate us then we’ll continue to do what we plan to do, it will just be we have more of a back door vulnerability, and more of one than we would like to have.”
The new travel and quarantine rules are due to come into force on Monday.
As they stand, the plans mean a traveller could fly to England before then driving across the border to Scotland, potentially avoiding the need to quarantine in a hotel.
The SNP’s decision to exert pressure on the Prime Minister to adhere to Scotland’s policy was ripped apart by Tory MP Peter Bone.
He told the MailOnline: “If someone arrives in England and then travels to Scotland they have to abide by the Scottish laws but it is wrong for the First Minister of Scotland to try and impose her laws on English airports.
“That’s ridiculous and bears no logic. If that is what she means I think the UK Government should firmly reject that idea.”
Furious social media users also lashed out at Ms Sturgeon’s pressure tactics.
One person said: “Sturgeon just trying upmanship on Boris with a call for complete quarantine.
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“Scottish airports have been virtually closed down for ages. A couple of rooms at a Premium Hotel would probably be all that was needed!”
A second person tweeted: “Sturgeon has NO place to demand England quarantine arrivals heading to Scotland.
“If she believes they should be quarantined, they can do so on arrival in Scotland.”
And yet a third wrote: “On quarantine for International arrivals Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP decided to apply different rules to those being applied by the rest of the UK.
“They then complained the difference has created a loophole where people can get around their rules by flying into England.”
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said those from red list nations arriving in England from Monday will need to quarantine in a hotel.
All other arrivals will be ordered to self-isolate at home.
Ms Sturgeon has said Police Scotland could be asked to “do more than what they are doing right now” at the border.
She said: “There may be a combination of things we have to do.
“Agreements with the UK Government, and also asking the police to do more than what they are doing right now in terms of the checks coming into the country.
“That is still under discussion.”
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