Coronavirus Q&A: Nicola Sturgeon answers your questions on Covid-19 pandemic

Scotland's first minister has answered questions from ITV News viewers on her administration's and the UK's government's implementation of coronavirus policy.

Nicola Sturgeon took part in ITV's weekly Coronavirus Q&A, taking questions on PPE, international travel and why Scotland isn't taking more of its own decisions instead of leaving some matters to Westminster.

It comes as the coronavirus death toll in the UK stands at 16,509, with 915 people having lost their lives to the disease in Scotland.

Andrew asks: "As a devolved government, why can it not be the case that Scotland makes its own choices to control the spread of the virus?"

Nicola Sturgeon defended Holyrood's decision making around measures to stop the spread of the virus, saying: "We do make our own decisions but we are trying to do that in a UK framework for, I guess, obvious reasons.

"This virus doesn't respect boundaries and people move freely across the UK. So the more we can act in concert, the more effective we can be at controlling the virus.

"That said, we've taken slightly different decisions at different times. In Scotland, we decided to call a halt to mass gatherings, slightly ahead of the rest of the UK. We closed schools a little bit earlier, and of course when lockdown came across the UK, but Scotland was slightly in the infection curve.

"We've also taken a slightly tougher stance on closing businesses, we've advised contruction in the non-essential sector to close. Where we think it's necessary, we will take our own decisions.

"We're also respsonible for the decisions and actions to build up capacity in the NHS; but just as I think there needs to be stronger global action to combat this virus, we need to make sure we are coordinating activity as much as possible across the UK, too."

Responding to whether she would "break ranks" with the UK government over coronavirus lockdown policy, the first minister said her government will act in a way "that is in the best interests of people in Scotland".

She said data and science will lead the approach to any decision making.

Chris asks: "What is the first minister's message to those who lost relatives in care homes due to her government's mistaken directive to only use PPE on symptomatic residents?"

Responding to the question, Ms Sturgeon said she had "great sympathy and deep regret" for those who had lost loved ones.

She added how she is reminded of the deaths during her daily press briefing, stating: "These are not statistics, these are human beings who are leaving behind grieving families."

She went on to talk about how older people are more susceptible to having severe effects from the virus, saying: "That's why are taking action to make sure the right guidance is in place for PPE, which we have done with expert input."

Ms Sturgeon said guidance was being fed to authorities and agencies across Scotland to ensure that the spread of the virus is halted.

She believes a u-turn over the decision will not cost lives.

Lorraine asks: "Why are we still accepting flights to the UK without passengers being quarantined?"

Ms Sturgeon said that the policy was controlled by the Westminster government, not devolved to Holyrood.

She said it is an issue "we need to make sure we keep under review" as the UK progresses through the various stages of the virus.

She revealed she has regularly been asking about the progress of measures, adding temperature checks are not always a reliable way to find out if someone has the virus.

The first minister said the best advice and rules dictate that people must not socialise outside their household and that the best way to stay safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus is to stay at home.