Scotland Tightens Quarantine Rules in Drive to End Lockdown

Scotland will tighten rules for anyone coming into the country in an effort to further suppress coronavirus infections as the government in Edinburgh set out an initial roadmap out of lockdown.

“We intend to introduce a managed quarantine requirement for anyone who arrives directly in Scotland, regardless of which country they’ve come from,” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament.

The goal is to isolate Scotland -- even from the rest of the U.K. -- to keep infections on a downward trajectory. Scotland can’t control people entering the country from other parts of Britain and she is urging the government in London to take a similar approach.

Restrictions shuttering the economy have been extended until at least the end of February, though Sturgeon offered some optimism that some might start to be eased. There will be a phased return for some school children from Feb. 22, starting with the youngest pupils and those at senior level.

While hospital admissions are 30% above the peak seen last April, they have been declining since mid-January. Weekly case numbers have now halved, with the new strain of Covid-19 accounting for 73% of new infections.

Sturgeon, who is also the leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, defended Scotland’s slower rollout of vaccines compared with England. She said the focus had been on the uptake among the most vulnerable groups and 98% of care-home residents had now been inoculated. Opponents in parliament said more needs to be done to keep pace with England.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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