Scotland’s first minister mentioned a visitors gentle system that permits worldwide journey amid the continued pandemic places the UK in danger from additional coronavirus variants that might be quicker spreading, extra extreme or undermine the efficacy of vaccines.
“We don’t know the place the variants of actual concern are going to return from, which is why an strategy to worldwide journey that tries to classify threat with some nations labelled as red-list nations and others deemed to be safer poses a threat,” Ms Sturgeon instructed Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday.
“None of us know the place the subsequent variant that is likely to be actually problematic goes to happen.”
Worldwide journey might resume from as early as 17 Might below proposals that grade nations by threat in a visitors gentle system to dictate whether or not travellers should isolate on returning to England.
Passengers must take Covid assessments earlier than leaving and on returning, even from low-risk “inexperienced” nations.
However Ms Sturgeon mentioned longer abroad journey restrictions are one thing all must be ready to stay with.
Presently, anybody flying on to Scotland from exterior of the UK should quarantine at a lodge for 10 days on arrival.
Ms Sturgeon mentioned she was making an attempt to steer the UK authorities to undertake the same strategy and admitted that worldwide journey restrictions had been lifted too early final summer time on the finish of the primary lockdown.
“What we’ve bought to recognise about Covid is that it’s mutating and we’re seeing new variants seem in numerous components of the world,” she mentioned.
Ms Sturgeon’s feedback got here as Boris Johnson prepares to journey to India, from the place a brand new variant has entered the UK.
Public Well being England reported that 77 circumstances of the B.1.617 variant have been detected within the UK.
India isn’t on the federal government’s pink checklist for journey and the variant is classed as a variant of curiosity, fairly than of concern.
George Eustice, the atmosphere secretary, mentioned there was no proof to counsel that B.1.617 is ready to “get round” the vaccine.
He added that the prime minister’s journey to India ought to go forward as a result of though public well being comes first, it shouldn’t imply “there must be no visits in any respect for enterprise functions”.
“Measures will probably be taken to make sure that the go to is Covid-secure,” Mr Eustice instructed Sophy Ridge On Sunday.
He continued: “However I believe it will be significant that the enterprise and the enterprise of politics if you happen to like does proceed and doesn’t cease fully – we simply want to ensure we take the proper precautions.”