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Scotland to retain quarantine measures for Spanish travel, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says

By Gregor White

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

People travelling to or from Spain will have to quarantine on arrival in Scotland it has been announced.

At today's Scottish Government coronavirus briefing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland would adopt the vast bulk of the "air bridges" plan announced by the UK government last week.

However she said it was necessary to retain quarantine measures for Spain, which is on the UK government's "amber" list.

She said that, while the prevalence of coronavirus in Spain was around twice that of the UK as a whole, it was 10 times greater than in Scotland.

Travel to and from Serbia will also continue to be subject to quarantine measures due to similar concerns.

The full list of countries that it will be possible to travel to and from without quarantine from Friday will be published on the Scottish Government website.

Ms Sturgeon said the decision to retain quarantine, particularly for Spain, had been a "very difficult" one to make.

But she added: "It is evidence-driven and motivated only by a determination to protect Scotland as far as possible from a resurgence of the virus in the weeks ahead."

And she said that the government was looking at what other measures might be put in place to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus without the need for quarantine.

She also issued a warning that people could not escape the current requirement to quarantine in Scotland if travelling to or from Spain or Serbia via airports in England.

Also at today's briefing health secretary Jeane Freeman announced planned changes to restrictions applying to people in the shielded category.

From Friday those who are shielding will no longer have to distance themselves from people who live with them.

Those living alone or only with children aged under 18 will also be able to form an "extended household" with one other household, meaning people from both those households will not have to physically distance from each other, and can stay the night in each other's homes.

Those in the shielded category can also book holidays from Friday in accommodation that does not involve shared facilities with any other households.

However, in that case, Ms Freeman said: "We strongly advise you do this only with people you live with or who are in your 'extended household'."

Children living in homes with someone in the shielding category will also no longer have to physically distance themselves from other children from Friday, so long as those children themselves are not shielding.

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