UNNECESSARY travel is set to be made ILLEGAL in Scotland under new coronavirus laws, Nicola Sturgeon has revealed.
The First Minister said today she is considering writing the harsh travel restrictions into law to try and stop people in high-risk areas causing coronavirus infections to run rampant across the country.
People in Level 3 areas of Scotland already have strict orders not to leave their local authority unless for essential reasons.
And people in lower levels of Ms Sturgeon’s five-tiered regional lockdowns are told to “minimise unnecessary journeys between areas in different levels”.
Ms Sturgeon said reducing travel is crucial to spread new cases of coronavirus in low-risk areas.
Speaking in a Covid-19 Committee in Scottish Parliament, the First Minister said: “Clearly we have travel restrictions in place in terms of guidance.
“We are actively considering whether we give a legal underpinning in the future weeks to these travel restrictions, and I’ll probably say more about that at that review point next week.
“But whatever approach we take to travel restrictions it relies on people abiding by them.”
Scots have also been advised not to travel to other parts of the UK.
Ms Sturgeon and interim chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith appeared at Holyrood’s Covid-19 Committee on Wednesday morning.
Speaking about Inverclyde, which is in the third tier of lockdown restrictions, Scotland’s interim chief medical Officer Dr Gregory Smith said the “geographical positioning” made it difficult to control the virus.
Shutting down both domestic and international travel make a “significant contribution” to the disease spreading, Dr Smith said.
He said: “One of the considerations, which I think is really important here, is the geographical positioning with high levels of infection surrounding the area on effectively all of its land border sides.
“That places it at a much higher risk.”
The threat of hardline travel bans within Scotland comes as England will be plunged into lockdown tomorrow, but there are no limits on how far people can travel.
People in England are told to stay at home unless they have a “reasonable excuse”.
The guidance says exercise should be “done locally wherever possible”, but it adds people can “travel to do so if necessary”.