Great Britain

Sturgeon blasts Boris over ‘lax’ traffic light system for foreign travel –'stop variants!'

Coronavirus 'double mutation' variant found in UK

The Scottish First Minister said the “lax” restrictions could allow emerging strains of coronavirus to spread in the UK. The Prime Minister’s traffic light system would enable Britons to travel to countries on the “green list” without having to isolate upon return.

Ms Sturgeon made the remarks after commenting on Mr Johnson’s decision to go ahead with a trip to India later this month, despite warnings that the country had found a new variant of interest.

Speaking on Sophy Ridge On Sunday on Sky News, Ms Sturgeon said: “I think the thing we have got to recognise about Covid is that it is mutating and we are seeing new variants appear in different parts of the world.

“We don't know where the variants of real concern are going to come from, which is why an approach to travel that tries to categorise risk, with some countries categorised as red-list countries and other countries deemed to be safer, I think poses a risk.

“Because none of us know right now where the next variant that might be really problematic is going to occur.”

Covid latest: Nicola Sturgeon

Sturgeon blasts Boris over ‘lax’ traffic light system for foreign travel –'stop variants!' (Image: Getty)

She added: “We have got to be very careful as we continue to suppress things at home, we don't allow it to be reseeded with more dangerous variants from elsewhere.”

Ms Sturgeon insisted that the UK Government should follow Scotland’s example and make managed quarantine mandatory for arrivals from all destinations.

Managed isolation means travellers must complete the quarantine period in a Government-approved hotel.

She said: “In Scotland we insist that people quarantine in managed isolation wherever in the world they come from if they come directly into Scotland, and we continue to try to persuade the UK Government to take a similar approach.

Covid latest: Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is set to visit India later this month (Image: Getty)

“Because we mustn't allow the progress we are making domestically to be undermined by too lax a position on international travel.”

A Downing Street spokesman confirmed last week Mr Johnson’s intentions to proceed with his visit to India, sparking concerns from the scientific community.

Imperial College's immunologist Professor Danny Altmann warned on Friday that the new variant registered in India that could potentially “give us a third wave.”

He told BBC Radio 4’s PM “we should be terribly concerned” and pointed out that India should be added to the red travel list to avoid a potential delay to the Government’s plans to reopen the economy.

He said: “They are things that can most scupper our escape plan at the moment and give us a third wave. They are a worry.”

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