Coronavirus in Scotland: Travel restrictions tightened over fears of mutated strain of covid in minks

First Minister Nicola sturgeon announced a tightening of travel restrictions between Scotland and Denmark due to a new ‘potentially serious’ variant Covid strain found in Danish minks.

Minks at farmer Stig Sørensen's estate where all minks must be culled due to a government order on November 7, 2020 in Bording, Denmark.
Minks at farmer Stig Sørensen's estate where all minks must be culled due to a government order on November 7, 2020 in Bording, Denmark.

The travel bans means that any one who is not a UK citizen, resident or EU resident with settled status and who has been to Denmark within past 14 days will not be able to enter into the UK.

UK citizens, residents and EU residents with settled status will be allowed to re-enter into the UK if they are coming from Denmark but they and their household must self-isolate for 14 days.

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Speaking at today’s briefing, Ms Sturgeon said: "In order to reduce the possibility of this new strain into the UK, the Scottish government and the UK government have significantly tightened travel restrictions.

“UK citizens, residents and EU residents with settled status will be allowed to re-enter into the UK but they and their household without exception must self isolate for 14 days.

“Other visitors to the UK who have been to Denmark within the previous fourteen days will unfortunately not be permitted entry into the UK for now.”

In addition to the travel ban, the Government also “strongly recommends” that anyone from Scotland who has arrived from Denmark from the past fortnight should self-isolate completely until fourteen days after arrival.

This means that if you arrived in Scotland seven days ago you should isolate for the next seven days.

The First Minister added: "We don’t likely or for no reason restrict people coming into the country but by taking these steps we have adopted a precautionary approach in the face of a potentially serious development and in doing so we hope we will have reduced any risks which may be attached to this new strain of the virus.”

The new animal-related strain appears to have jumped from mink to humans in mink farms in Denmark.

The First minister stressed that there are no mink farms in Scotland or in the rest of the UK and a license is currently needed to own a mink in the country.

The Scottish government are currently reviewing all mink licenses in Scotland.

She added: "We don’t likely or for no reason restrict people coming into the country but by taking these steps we have adopted a precautionary approach in the face of a potentially serious development and in doing so we hope we will have reduced any risks which may be attached to this new strain of the virus.”

Ms Sturgeon said that if any further action is needed in light of the mink strain, the government will announce this in due course.

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