Nicola Sturgeon has imposed a travel ban between Scotland and Manchester and Salford due to the increase in Covid cases.
The restrictions, which take effect from Monday, are in addition to travel limits put in place last month as the Delta variant quickly spreads across northern England.
Speaking during his Covid briefing on Friday, the Scottish Prime Minister said: ‘Manchester and Salford currently have high levels of Covid and therefore as of Monday non-essential travel between Scotland and these towns is not authorized. Non-essential travel is already banned between Scotland and Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen. “
Sturgeon added: “Anyone traveling anywhere else in Greater Manchester or the Lancashire area, I would ask you to think carefully about the need for your trip as we are seeing cases increase in this area. “
Questioned by reporters about statistics from Public Health England, which appeared to suggest rates in Salford and Manchester were equivalent to some Scottish towns, for which such travel restrictions do not exist, Sturgeon insisted that the measures were proportionate.
“No one wants travel restrictions. No one wants them to be in place longer than necessary. We have lifted some of them today and we continue to make those decisions based on necessity and proportionality assessments.