ENGLISH tourists may face a 14-day quarantine in Scotland if cases continue to rise south of the border.
Senior figures in the Scottish Government are to be concerned by the surge of cases in Leicester and have now put plans in place for possible new restrictions.
According to The Times, Scottish government sources say there are fears that progress in suppressing the deadly bug could be undone when the tourism season begins next month.
The current rules see anyone coming into Scotland from overseas being put into quarantine for 14 days or face a £480 fine.
These are similar measures to down south.
Now Scottish government sources have warned that if cases continue to rise ministers are considering an option to apply the same rules to visitors from England.
This could be a national restriction, or on specific areas that have seen spikes in the number of coronavirus cases.
The Scottish government said: “To allow us to move out of lockdown, it is critical that we keep transmission of the virus as low as possible, and that includes transmission from high to low-risk areas.
“Scotland has in place enhanced surveillance to identify those risks, and has long-established powers, enhanced by recent coronavirus legislation, to manage them.
“We are having to take unprecedented steps to deal with the challenges that the pandemic brings.
“As we hopefully suppress the virus further, we will continue to consider any measures that might be necessary to protect against the risk of imported cases of the virus.”
Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs added: “Everyone accepts there will be difficult trade-offs as we look to the easing of restrictions and see the increased movement of people across Britain.”
It comes as the Mayor of Leicester said the city could “remain restricted for two weeks longer than the rest of the country” as a fresh spike in coronavirus cases blasted the area.
Speaking of the surge in new cases, the Prime Minister said: “We are concerned about Leicester, we are concerned about any local outbreak.
“I want to stress to people that we are not out of the woods yet. We are making these cautious, calibrated steps, we are opening as much of hospitality as we can on July 4, opening as much of the economy as we can – some things, alas, still remain closed until they can become Covid-secure.”
He added that the local “whack-a-mole” strategy had worked in Weston-super-Mare and where there had been outbreaks around GP surgeries in London.
Last week Nicola Sturgeon revealed Scotland is in an “increasingly strong position” but urged people to stay vigilant and follow instructions to continue the fall in positive cases.
The Scottish First Minister believes the country is close to eliminating Covid-19 – which means lowering infection rates to a small number and keeping it under control.
But the SNP chief did warn against “one iota of complacency” as it could spike again if guidelines are not followed.
Speaking at the daily briefing, Ms Sturgeon said: “This is not something we are going to get rid of in a fortnight and all be able to take our eye off the ball and drop our guard.”