A fresh border row erupted yesterday after Nicola Sturgeon said she would ‘not shy away’ from forcing visitors coming up from England to self-quarantine if any outbreak there were not ‘properly managed’.
Asked on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show about the possibility of self-isolation, the SNP leader said the UK nations needed to work together on outbreak management in a way that “mitigates against having to put any border restrictions in place”. She said she was not “immediately planning” to implement a quarantine policy but would “take decisions the best I can to protect the health of Scotland and to take that absolutely from a public health perspective.”
She said: “This is not about saying to people in England ‘You are not welcome in Scotland’ – of course people in England are welcome in Scotland,” she said.
“This is not about politics, it’s not about a constitutional agenda, it’s just about taking decisions to protect people in Scotland as much as possible from Covid.”
Miss Sturgeon said she would like to see Boris Johnson’s Government be more explicit that it is trying to get to levels of coronavirus that are “virtually elimination levels”.
“We need to be sure that any outbreaks in England are being properly managed, just as England will want to be sure that any outbreaks in Scotland are properly managed,” she said.
“It’s when there isn’t that confidence that the concerns about possible importation would grow.”
Opponents attacked her quarantine threat last night.
Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw said: “In the same week that Nicola Sturgeon approved unrestricted travel to and from 57 other countries, it is astonishing that she persists with promoting the possibility of a quarantine for people entering Scotland from the rest of the UK.
“We need to end this talk of building barriers between the nations of the UK and instead work together to defeat the virus.”