First Minister asks Scots to avoid Blackpool after linked cases

Credit: PA

The First Minister has advised Scots looking to travel to Blackpool not to do so, especially to watch this weekend’s Old Firm match in a pub.

It comes after at least 180 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in the last month reported a recent trip to the town. She added those who have not already booked a trip to the area should not now do so.

Sturgeon said that a separate incident management team had been set up to deal with those who have travelled between the town and Scotland.

She said: "I need to advise you that trips to Blackpool are now associated with a large and growing number of Covid cases in Scotland."

She added: "Blackpool is being mentioned in Test and Protect conversations far more than any other location outside of Scotland.

Credit: PA

According to the First Minister, 342 people who were contacted by Test and Protect in the last week after having contracted coronavirus reported travel outside of Scotland, 252 to somewhere else in the UK and 94 had been to Blackpool.

The First Minister also said: "We are currently advising against non-essential travel to the parts of England which are classed as very high or high alert areas under England's new three-tier system. And I'm asking people from these areas not to travel to Scotland either."

On Thursday, the Scottish Parliament will review the restrictions imposed on household visits three weeks ago.

Sturgeon said she will make a statement at the virtual meeting, but warned: “As you might expect, we are unlikely, very unlikely, to announce any changes or easing of the current rules on household gatherings.”