Scotland to introduce 'managed quarantine' for all travellers, Sturgeon announces

Credit: PA

A "managed quarantine" will be introduced for anyone arriving directly into Scotland "regardless of which country they have come from", First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Ms Sturgeon said Scotland is going further than systems announced in the rest of the UK, but she said that she could not “unilaterally” impose such restrictions on people landing elsewhere in the UK and travelling to Scotland.

But the First Minister said she hoped the other administrations would work with the Scottish Government to reduce the number of people doing so.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs: “The firm view of the Scottish Government is that in order to minimise the risk of new strains coming into the country, managed quarantine must be much more comprehensive.

“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.”

Anyone entering Scotland will be asked to quarantine. Credit: PA

The First Minister also announced that schools in Scotland will return from February 22 but this will be a phased return, so not all children will be back from that date.

All children in early learning and childcare will return, and pupils in Primary 1 to Primary 3 will also be allowed back into school.

But there will be a part-time return for senior phase pupils for practical course work.

The First Minister said older pupils will only be able to return to ensure practical work important to achieving qualifications is completed and only between 5% and 8% of any school’s roll should be able to return.

“The decisions I am about to outline are intended to give young people, parents and teachers as much notice as possible, but I must stress that they are subject to continued progress in suppressing the virus and will be subject to final confirmation in two weeks’ time," she added.

Ms Sturgeon also said Scotland's lockdown will continue until at least the end of February and “gradual easing” could begin from the start of March.

“If our progress continues, then I am cautiously optimistic that, as more and more people get vaccinated and with the protection of some of the additional measures that I will cover shortly, we may be able to begin looking towards a careful and gradual easing around the start of March," she said.

An update on possible easing will be given in two weeks, Ms Sturgeon said.