Sturgeon refuses to rule out shutting down England border Must be ready to do anything

Nicola Sturgeon refuses to rule out closing border with England

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Nicola Sturgeon has refused to rule out shutting down the border between Scotland and England amid growing fears around the new Omicron variant of Covid. BBC’s Andrew Marr bluntly asked the Scottish First Minister whether closing the border with England was on the table. This comes after two Omicron cases were detected in Essex, and Nottingham on Saturday. 

Ms Sturgeon explained: “It’s very difficult, you know the nature of the border between Scotland and England, the nature of the flow across the border.

“But, we will do everything we can. It’s always a last resort.

“We need to be open-minded about doing anything to keep the population safe right now.

“We are very concerned about the most recent developments about this variant.”

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She continued: “I think we may need to go further to restrict travel in the next few days.”

The Scottish government has already matched all the restrictions on travel introduced by the UK government for English airports.

This means arrival from 10 new red list countries will need to quarantine for 10 days.

Ms Sturgeon confirmed that the variant, which originated in southern Africa, had not yet been detected in Scotland.

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But she added: “I’m asking people to behave in Scotland just now as if it is present.”

Ms Sturgeon was speaking ahead of her 15th party conference speech as SNP leader and first minister of Scotland on Monday.

The SNP’s four-day autumn conference opened on Friday.


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This comes as UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned this morning that the Omicron variant may make the current vaccines “less effective”.

He added that rules mandating mask-wearing on public transport and in shops would be a “temporary” measure.

Speaking on Sky News, the Health Secretary said it is “right to respond” with stricter measures, claiming the new policies will “buy us time” to fully assess the risk of the new Omicron variant.

He downplayed fears of Christmas being cancelled again, adding: “As for Christmas, I think people should continue with their planning.

“I think it’s going to be a great Christmas.”

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