First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for Scots not to cross the border amid reports Boris Johnson is considering a national lockdown for England.
Media reports suggest the Prime Minister is set to announce the new measures next week – and they could be place for at least four weeks.
The Press Association is reporting scientific advisers at the top of the UK Government believe it is now too late for a two-week national circuit-breaker to have enough of an effect and a longer national lockdown is needed to drive the reproduction number, or R value, of the virus below one.
All parts of England are on course to eventually end up in Tier 3 restrictions, they believe, while deaths could potentially hit 500 per day within weeks.
In a series of tweets, the first minister said while what happens south of the border was “clearly not irrelevant to our considerations”, decisions would be based on what is happening in Scotland.
She said: “Prevalence of the virus is currently lower in Scotland than in other parts of the UK and there are early signs that the tough restrictions in place since we moved quickly in late September have started to slow the rate of increase.
“We will base decisions on circumstances here – though what happens just across our border is clearly not irrelevant to our considerations. In coming days @ will consider data on the spread of the virus, as we always do, and take account of any developments in England.
“Amongst other factors, this consideration will have to include whether any financial support will be available now as a result of steps in England, which would not be guaranteed to Scotland later.
“Most importantly, we urge everyone to comply with current restrictions, including on travel. People should not travel to or from level 3 areas in Scotland and for now, we are asking people not to travel to or from England at all, except for essential purposes.
“Above all, we will do our best – in difficult circumstances – to arrive at the best and most rational decisions we can, with the priority of protecting health and lives. And we will set out any decisions to the Scottish people and @ScotParl in as managed a way as possible.”
Scotland’s tier system
On Monday, Scotland’s new tier system comes into force.
It was announced on Thursday that Dundee will be placed in level 3 while Perth and Kinross and Angus will be in level 2.
She said if people applied their own interpretation of the rules then they “simply won’t work”.
The First Minister has already warned the country the new five-tier system of restrictions represents the best chance of avoiding another national lockdown.
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