Hancock tells SNP MP UK already banned ‘non-essential travel’
Travel in and out of Scotland is currently banned under national lockdown rules, however, for those needing to enter the country from abroad, new “comprehensive” rules are set to take hold. Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for a “managed quarantine” system for anyone arriving in Scotland.
The decision came after Sturgeon slammed the UK quarantine rules as “too reactive”, saying Boris Johnson’s measures do “not go far enough”.
Though UK arrivals must quarantine in a hotel if they are entering from one of the 33 designated “high-risk” countries, in Scotland it seems all arrivals will have to do so.
Sturgeon said: “The four UK nations have already agreed that travellers coming into the UK from countries with a travel ban in place will be required to quarantine in hotels.
“That is a necessary measure but in the Scottish government’s view, it does not go far enough.
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“I can therefore confirm today that we intend to introduce a managed quarantine requirement for anyone who arrives directly into Scotland, regardless of which country they have come from.”
However, with flights in and out of Scotland extremely limited, experts have suggested the impact of the rule will be “minimal”.
Travel expert Simon Calder said in a tweet: “Scotland’s first minister announced hotel quarantine for all passengers flying direct to the country.
“Managed quarantine for anyone who arrives directly into Scotland, no matter which country they are coming from.
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“Impact likely to be minimal; there are very few direct services.”
Indeed, Sturgeon has admitted she does not have the power to “unilaterally” impose these restrictions on people landing into other parts of the UK and then travelling to Scotland.
However, she shared hopes other government administrations would help the Scottish government to stop people doing so.
The announcement has already received a response from Twitter users, describing the move as “meaningless” and “point-scoring”.
One user said: “As with everything from the SNP sounds good but totally meaningless due to low number of direct flights… Simply fly to another UK airport and connect.
“Happy to self-isolate if I were to travel back but not at some substandard hotel that they select.”
A second commenter wrote: “All point scoring, that’s fine, I’ll just fly out of England.”
However, others defended the move. One Twitter user said: “There may not be many flights however it’s better than nothing in my opinion.”
In England, travellers arriving from “high-risk” countries are anticipated to be escorted from the airport directly to a Government approved hotel to endure quarantine as of February 15.
Under the rule, arrivals will not be allowed to leave their hotel rooms for the entirety of their self-isolation period.
Travel expert Paul Charles, CEO of The PC Agency, shared an insight into the new scheme on Twitter.
“Hearing that hotel quarantine from high-risk areas will begin on 15th February,” he wrote.
This has not yet been confirmed by the Government, however.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “The government is taking a precautionary approach against the risk posed by new variants. We are building on the stringent measures we already have in place – adding another layer of protection against the virus.
“We will set out a detailed implementation plan soon – the law is already clear that it is illegal to travel abroad except for a very limited set of exemptions listed on gov.uk.”
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