Hotel quarantine rules for travellers still being finalised

From Monday, all international arrivals to Scotland must isolate in a hotel for ten days.

Hotel quarantine rules for travellers still being finalised Getty Images

Quarantine rules for people travelling to Scotland are still being finalised, according to health secretary Jeane Freeman.

From Monday, all travellers arriving on an international flight must isolate in a hotel for ten days at a personal cost of £1750.

However in England, only travellers arriving from 33 “red list” countries need to quarantine, raising questions over what happens if someone then crosses the border into Scotland.

UK health secretary Matt Hancock has said those from red list nations arriving in England will need to quarantine in a hotel, while other travellers should isolate at home.

Freeman said this was “insufficient” and that the Scottish Government was trying to persuade Westminster to take a tougher stance.

She said talks were ongoing and the plans would be “finalised in time”.

Addressing the coronavirus briefing on Friday, Freeman said: “We continue to discuss with the UK Government because we think their approach, which confines itself to the red-zone areas, is insufficient and we continue to work with them to try and persuade them that they should adopt the tougher stance that we’re adopting.

“However while we do that, we do have to give serious thought to the options that may be available to us.

“Many will enter the UK via the major airport hubs in London, Manchester and elsewhere and will then travel to Scotland.

“So we will need to work through with the UK Government how that will be managed, how we will know that and if there is a need for other measures at the border.

“Of course that is an operational issue for our chief constable, he will be giving that come consideration but the decision around that should remain with him.”

Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross said people needed urgent clarity about whether they could cross the Scotland-England border.

“There’s lots of issues that are being raised at a local level,” he told the BBC.

“I just want the two governments to work together. I think there is a route we can take for the two governments to share advice, to negotiate with each other and come to a reasonable conclusion.

“Let’s just get around the table and sort it out rather than one side or another saying the other side is not speaking to them or not doing enough.”

Downing Street defended the level of restrictions in England, with a spokesman telling a Westminster briefing: “They are in line with other countries who are taking this approach.

“We require repeat testing, travellers to quarantine inside their room for ten days and we have strict penalties in place for anyone who fails to comply.”

Edinburgh Airport said it remained “concerned at the lack of detail” available just days before the new rules begin.

A spokesman said: “We were concerned at the lack of detail and understanding of the airport environment when plans were initially presented to us.

“This could have been avoided if we had been engaged at a much earlier stage so we could provide the insight and expertise that our business is built on.

“Our teams are currently working through the proposals to make the necessary changes to ensure the government’s proposals are compliant, but it is clear that there is still a lot of work for the government to carry out if it wants this policy to be in place for Monday.”