Nicola Sturgeon blasts Boris Johnson’s ‘shambolic’ air bridge plans & vows to make her OWN rules in Scotland

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NICOLA Sturgeon has blasted Boris Johnson’s “shambolic” air bridge plans in a furious press conference.

The Scottish First Minister today tore into the UK Government, and accused them of leaving Scotland in the dark.

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The UK and Scottish Governments have been at loggerheads this week over the air bridges plan – announced by the Government today.

But Ms Sturgeon and Scotland have accused them of failing to keep them in the loop.

The announcement of which countries people will be ale to fly to and from without a quarantine have been delayed for days due to the ongoing row.

Speaking at her daily press conference today, Ms Sturgeon claimed the UK Government had changed its plans overnight.

She said: “The UK Government has announced a list of countries that it intends to remove from quarantine restrictions.

“I explained yesterday why it has been really quite challenging for Scotland to come to a position on the UK’s proposals with any great speed.

“Often we have had limited or no notice of the UK’s proposals, and that matters.

“Just to illustrate the point about the shifting sands of the UK government position – the list of countries that they were yesterday demanding we sign up to and suggesting we were a barrier to getting agreement on, is not the same as the list they have shared with us today.

“We cannot allow ourselves to be dragged along by another Government’s shambolic decision-making process”.

Ms Sturgeon insisted Scotland was not against tourists visiting, but warned safety had to come first.

She explained: “We want to welcome visitors from around the world and also want to allow our own citizens to travel.

“That’s important for our tourism sector and our aviation sector and for our economy generally. And Scotland has a long-standing reputation of being an open and welcoming country.”

The UK is publishing the list of countries that English people can travel to later today.

They had to restrict it just to England after Ms Sturgeon insisted that Scotland would have its own rules.

She added it is “very likely” the Scottish Government will be able to agree the low-risk countries on the air bridge list over the next few days.

Government sources had suggested there could be some overlap of the nations.

Countries will be graded green if they are safer than the UK, amber if less safe, or red which means all passengers returning will have to isolate.

The US will be on the “red” list, meaning self-quarantine measures will be required when returning to the UK.

This morning the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps explained the list of countries was finally ready and the nation could finally plan to get away.

He told Sky News: “There will be a list of 50-plus countries. If you add in the overseas territories (there will be) 60-something-or-other that will be announced later today.”

The Sun earlier revealed the new rules will not apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who have decided to assess countries’ safety using different measures.

Even if citizens fly out from England, their devolved administrations will require they quarantine on return.

This morning Mr Shapps revealed he still hoped the devolved nations would come around to the plans.

He said: “At the beginning of the week I said this would be announced by the end of the week, I was hoping to be able to do it earlier, but unfortunately we have not been able to get the devolved administrations to sign up to it yet.

“People have been waiting for this list all week, and that’s why we delayed putting the list out there, to see if the devolved nations wanted to announce at the same time.

“It’s not coming in until 10th of July, the end of the quarantine, so there is still time for other parts of the four nations to join.”

 

 

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