Nicola Sturgeon says Boris Johnson agrees discussions on cross-border travel needed

Boris Johnson has agreed that discussions between the four nations of the UK around cross-border travel bans should happen as Covid-19 cases continue to rise across the country.

Thursday, 15th October 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 16th October 2020, 7:39 pm

Nicola Sturgeon, speaking at her daily coronavirus briefing, said she had received a response from the Prime Minister stating that he agreed with her request for further discussions on the issue.

The First Minister has said the Scottish Government is seriously considering imposing a travel ban between areas of high prevalence and low prevalence such as the one brought in by Wales earlier this week.

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It could lead to a situation where those living in the Scottish Borders are unable to travel to Cumbria or Northumbria due to the level of the virus.

Nicola Sturgeon said Boris Johnson has said he agrees discussions about cross-border travel is needed
Nicola Sturgeon said Boris Johnson has said he agrees discussions about cross-border travel is needed

Ms Sturgeon has said no decision has been made and the issue of enforcement is a key question for the Scottish Government, with a choice between guidance and law yet to be made.

She said: "Whatever the system is based on whether it is guidance or regulation, it involves a lot of willingness on the part of people to comply with people on that.

"One of the things we will be weighing up in deciding what to do is whether a regulatory approach coupled with enforcement gives us a more meaningful way where necessary, because we don’t do any of this lightly, restrict travel from high to low-prevalence areas.

"We will as and when we have reached decisions which will lead to a change in the current position, we will set that out fully.”

The First Minister said she views alignment with the other four nations as important for any new law or guidance to be effective.

She said: "We’ve all got to take these decisions within the four nations.

"But given the nature of travel, particularly around the border of Scotland and England and England and Wales, the more we can align our approaches here – whether that is an aligned approach around guidance for where people should or shouldn’t be travelling to or an aligned approach around enforcement - I think it would be helpful if we could reach that and we will see where those discussions get to.”

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