Scotland’s first minister has claimed that the UK government’s decision on air bridges has been “shamblik”.
Nicola Sturgeon criticized the speed with which Westminster expected Scottish ministers to decide on separate segments on foreign visitors.
He said, however, that the Scottish Government was “very likely” to agree to relax restrictions on people coming to Scotland from “low-risk” countries.
He said “moderate risk” countries need to be carefully scrutinized.
Under the UK government’s plan, people arriving in England from 50 countries, including Spain, Italy and France, will no longer have to be isolated for another 14 days from 10 July.
Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have not yet agreed to the proposal.
‘Symbolic decision making process’
Downing Street says deviating governments should “make and interpret their own decisions” about the need to isolate people when returning from abroad.
Meanwhile, the directors of Scotland’s top two airports have warned that failure to adopt a four-nation will jeopardize further work.
And the Scottish Chambers of Commerce have called on the Scottish Government to “urgently align itself with the UK-based approach”.
The business organization added: “Politics must be put aside to increase the demand for Scottish businessmen and to do what they can to make Scotland the best place to invest and do business.”
In a daily coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon said the government had to make “difficult and complex” decisions on the issue – but the UK government’s position had changed.
The list of countries that Westminster asked Scotland to sign up on Thursday was different than the one announced on Friday, he added.
“Now that so much risk has been faced we can’t pull ourselves right now, to be more precise about it, to decide on another government’s symbolic decision-making process,” he said.
“We want to welcome visitors from all over the world again and we want to allow our own citizens to travel.
“We also want to align these issues with the rest of the UK, if obviously possible for practical reasons.”
He said he hoped a decision could be made “quickly”.
The prime minister added that the Scottish government had assessed the spread of coronavirus in Scotland five times less than in England.
Asked about criticism of the United States government by Nicolas Sturgeon, the PM’s spokesman said: “The changes we are making now will allow people to travel to the country without any precautionary measures and self-isolation in their return.”
“It is up to the evolving administration to make their own decisions and explain about the measures they are taking,” he said.
“We have been working with all the divided administrations related to segregation from the very beginning and we have continued to do so,” he said.
Earlier, Scottish Justice Secretary Hamza Youssef said he was given 30 minutes to look at the list of countries under consideration for “air bridges” before making a decision on Wednesday night.
He told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland program that the Scottish government wanted to take a “four nations” approach and that he wanted more time on the issue.
UK Transport Minister Grant Shaps said there was still time for extinct countries to join the plan.
“Remember it’s not changing until July 10th so there’s still room for them to do it and they can do better,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see countries come on board.
“I am very optimistic that we as four nations will be able to do this at the same time. I think it will make it much easier for people but they have to decide for themselves.”
Meanwhile, Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, which owns Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, said regional change would make a living.
He added: “The one-piece system will synthesize the devastating effects of the blanket segregation system in our aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors.
“People are justifiably concerned about their health, but they are also intimidated by their work.
.. / src / NamedConfOptions.py: 327 msgid “” “It’s not just about people going on summer vacation, it’s about safe re-establishment of routes that drive trade and investment.”