Scotland has banned visitors from South Africa after it was revealed that there were cases involving a new strain of coronavirus in the UK.
The Scottish Government this evening revealed they will be halting travel from the African nation amid fears of the mutant variant under strict new measures.
Ministers said the move – which kicked in at 6pm – was agreed following advice from senior clinical advisers to introduce further controls on travellers who have been in South Africa in the previous 10 days.
Regulations will require all UK nationals or residents returning to Scotland from South Africa to isolate for 10 days.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “These steps are a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of a variant strain of coronavirus which has been detected in South Africa, which we are still in the early stages of learning about, to Scotland.
“This decision has been taken on clinical advice to help further safeguard public health and keep communities safe.”
In a tweet, he added: “Based on advice from senior clinical advisers a ban on entry for visitors from South Africa has been introduced from 6pm tonight. Additionally, any travellers who have been in South Africa in the previous 10 days will now require to quarantine.”
Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith said: “A mutated strain of the virus has been detected in South Africa with greater transmissibility between humans and it is appropriate that we err on the side of caution.
“We do not want to see transmission of this strain in this country and it is imperative that anybody who has recently travelled from South Africa, and their household, should self-isolate for 10 days and follow the guidance laid out by the Scottish Government. If needed, they should contact NHS 24.”
The new regulations will be laid before the Scottish Parliament on 24 December.
All international travellers arriving into Scotland,…