‘No appropriate notice given over move to lift Covid rules in England’

Scottish ministers have voiced their concerns about the implications removing self-isolating rules in England could have north of the border.

‘No appropriate notice given over move to lift Covid rules in England’ PA Ready

Scottish ministers have called on the Prime Minister for more clarity after they claim he failed to give them “appropriate notice” on his latest plan to lift the final domestic Covid restrictions in England.

The current self-isolation rules in England expire on March 24, but Boris Johnson told MPs at Prime Minister’s Questions that “provided the current encouraging trends in the data continue, it is my expectation that we will be able to end the last domestic restrictions – including the legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive – a full month early”.

Johnson said he will present his plan for “living with Covid” when Parliament returns from a short recess on February 21, with an aim of lifting the requirement to self-isolate within days of that.

In response, a spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said the UK Government “failed to provide devolved nations with appropriate notice to consider implications ahead of the announcement by the Prime Minister”.

She said Scottish ministers are urgently seeking clarity from the UK Government to consider any implications its announcement could have for Scotland, adding: “Regardless of decisions made by the UK Government, it is vital that Scotland can continue to access funding to support the policy decisions taken in Scotland in response to Covid-19.”

The spokeswoman added: “Isolation and mask-wearing have been among the most effective non-pharmaceutical interventions in supressing Covid spread.

“All public health measures are kept under continuous review, including guidance on self-isolation. Decisions are informed by the latest scientific and clinical advice as well as careful consideration of the four harms.”

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