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Coronavirus UK: Police will not put up road blocks to enforce border crossing ban in Scotland


Drivers crossing the border face a £ 60 fine, but the police will not put up roadblocks saying "enforcement" is the last resort

Is it forbidden for everyone to leave or enter Scotland after 6 p.m. tonight?

Yes, with a small number of exceptions.

Nicola Sturgeon's legislation requires anyone residing in Scotland to be banned from entering England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland starting tonight.

The First Minister also made it illegal for people living in these countries to enter Scotland.

Anyone who breaks the rules will be fined £ 60, she says.

There are a few exceptions, including leaving Scotland to take a driving test, feed an animal, donate blood, or for work, educational or health reasons.

Will the police put up road blocks?

No roadblocks will be put in place and police say they will not patrol the border looking for anyone who is breaking the law.

Instead, if they encounter transgressors in the "service" they will enforce the new law.

Scottish Deputy Police Chief Alan Speirs says they want people to "do the right thing".

He added: “We will use enforcement as a last resort when there is a clear violation of the law.

“The police chief has publicly stated several times that we will not routinely stop vehicles or erect roadblocks and that this will not change due to the current travel restrictions.

“However, in the course of their duties, officials may encounter people traveling from one area of ​​the local authority to another. In areas where travel restrictions apply, officials will continue to use the common sense, discretion and excellent judgment they have used since the crisis began. "

Two million Scots were thrown into a draconian level 4 lock tonight as police insisted not to patrol to enforce plans to make crossing the border illegal.

Entry or exit into Scotland without a reasonable excuse was banned from 6pm today and anyone caught could now be fined £ 60.

People living in level three or four restricted areas – which include much of central Scotland – are also not allowed to leave their area.

And in Level 4, which also includes Glasgow, all non-essential shops had to close tonight.

However, some experts claim that the Scottish Parliament cannot legally set the rules for not crossing the border. One MP warns: "Any self-respecting lawyer would advise a client not to pay a fine."

Scots made a last minute jump for Christmas shopping today before the tough measures were implemented – but the busy streets were soon abandoned when the clock struck 6 p.m. and restrictions went into effect.

On the border with Berwick in Northumberland, police took no steps to actively enforce the crossing ban while traffic between England and Scotland continued to flow slowly.

About 15 miles away in the village of Coldstream, it seemed like a normal evening at the borders as cars and trucks drove on.

Scottish union leader Richard Leonard said: “This government travel ban seems like a poorly thought out and ill-considered law rather than the evidence-based intervention we need.

"There is a risk of uneven application and, therefore, uneven treatment across Scotland. The risk is that this uncertainty will affect public confidence."

Meanwhile, Cumbria Police confirmed to MailOnline that they would not conduct border controls and would expect anyone traveling to England to abide by the current English lockdown rules.

When First Minister Nicola Sturgeon faced a growing backlash to the new rules in other developments:

  • Scotland has recorded 32 coronavirus deaths and 1,018 positive tests in the past 24 hours.
  • There was a mass rush to the shops in areas entering the Level 4 lockdown as families tried to do their Christmas shopping before the new rules began.
  • Nicola Sturgeon is wondering whether harder curbs will be required in January due to the loose Christmas restrictions.
  • The ministers hope to vaccinate a million Scots against coronavirus in the largest vaccination program of all time by the end of January.

Ms Sturgeon announced the latest restrictions on Scotland on Tuesday to slow the spread of Covid-19.

However, a list of bizarre exceptions to the rules was made that would allow for a violation of the travel rules.

Scots are allowed to leave the country – or their locked area – to feed an animal, donate blood or take a driving test. Exceptions to the travel ban also apply for more frequent essential travel reasons, including for health, professional or school reasons.

Gill and Iain Dickson, who live in the border village of Coldstream, Scotland, were careful not to cross the border into England tonight, as they normally would on their evening walk.

The couple, in their mid-50s, are in favor of the travel ban despite the restrictions, which means they won't be able to see their daughters, who live in England, for three weeks.

Ms. Dickson said tonight, “I haven't technically seen my daughters for three weeks. It'll make a difference to me, but we watched everything closely from the start.

“People here are generally pretty happy with (the restrictions), but there are a lot of people who work and push the line. There will still be cross-border traffic. & # 39;

Her husband added, “I think if people had just behaved, stayed in the area and done what they were asked to do instead of moving, they would not have caused the problem. I think it is absolutely right to do that. & # 39;

However, some who crossed the border in Berwick before 6 p.m. did not share their positive views.

Mark Watt, who was visiting a sick relative in Berwick, said he did not understand how people crossing the border could be monitored. He is facing a 220-mile journey back to his Aberdeenshire home on Sunday, two days after the closure.

"They can't really stop you," he said. “People cross the border for many reasons.

“However, you probably shouldn't leave your area to do non-essential things like shopping. I'm just down here visiting a relative who is very ill. It will probably be the last time I'll see her. & # 39;

Watt added, “If you don't stop every car and ask why they're crossing, how are you going to monitor it?

"Lots of people have real reasons to cross the border. I'll cross it one way or another to get home."

Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins, who is also a professor of law at the University of Glasgow, admitted that "there are serious legal questions to be asked about the draft regulations published by the Scottish government": "These include rules about who" is allowed to enter and stay ". Scotland. & # 39;

He added: “These rules appear to affect British and Irish citizens across the UK and Ireland. Is this the responsibility of Holyrood? For one thing, freedom of movement seems to be expressly reserved for the British Parliament under the Scotland Act. "

Two million Scots were thrown into a draconian level 4 lock tonight as police say they will not set up a patrol to enforce plans to make crossing the border illegal. Pictured: Glasgow tonight

Business on Glasgow's Buchanan Street fell silent as the city, along with much of Scotland, moved to restricted level 4

Business on Glasgow's Buchanan Street fell silent as the city and much of Scotland moved to restricted level 4

Entry or exit into Scotland without a reasonable excuse was banned from 6pm today and anyone caught could now be fined £ 60. Pictured: Glasgow tonight

Entry or exit into Scotland without a reasonable excuse was banned from 6pm today and anyone caught could now be fined £ 60. Pictured: Glasgow tonight

Christmas shoppers are out and about on Buchanan Street in Glasgow in the rain today. Eleven parish council areas in Scotland will move into level 4 restrictions at 6pm tonight

Christmas shoppers are out and about on Buchanan Street in Glasgow in the rain today. Eleven parish council areas in Scotland will move into level 4 restrictions at 6pm tonight

Cars pass a coronavirus warning sign on the M8 eastbound in Glasgow today

Cars pass a coronavirus warning sign on the M8 eastbound in Glasgow today

Who is at the top of the UK coronavirus table? According to official figures, England has the highest rate of Covid-19 infections, followed by Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland

Who is at the top of the UK coronavirus table? According to official figures, England has the highest rate of Covid-19 infections, followed by Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland

People living in level three or four restricted areas - which include much of central Scotland - are also not allowed to leave their area

People living in level three or four restricted areas – which include much of central Scotland – are also not allowed to leave their area

Secondly, it is not clear that the Scottish Parliament can issue rules that contradict the common travel area, as agreed by Great Britain and Ireland.

“It is not at all clear whether the draft regulations published today fall within the remit of the Scottish Parliament. At least there are serious doubts about the legal capacity to act as the Scottish Ministers propose. "

Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles warned that "any self-respecting attorney would advise a client not to pay a fine," while Mr. Leonard described the ban as "deeply flawed".

The Scottish Labor leader added: “People want a government that works with them, not against them, on things like travel restrictions.

“From today's perspective, the best scenario is that the travel ban will confuse you. The worst scenario is that it will criminalize them. & # 39;

Shoppers exit a Smyths Toys store in Glasgow today with their purchases before tough new restrictions are met

Shoppers exit a Smyths Toys store in Glasgow today with their purchases before tough new restrictions are met

Hundreds of shoppers line up at Ikea's Straiton, Edinburgh store after it was confirmed that shoppers from higher tier areas, including, can no longer travel to the Midlothian store, which falls to Level 2. (C) Dave Johnston

Hundreds of shoppers queued at the IKEA Edinburgh store in Straiton today after it was confirmed that shoppers from higher tier areas including Edinburgh, Fife and West Lothian will no longer be able to travel to the Midlothian store, which is now falling to Tier 2

People shop at the last minute in Glasgow today before the fourth tier rules go into effect

People shop at the last minute in Glasgow today before the fourth tier rules go into effect

Shoppers leave a Smyths Toys store in Glasgow today with their purchases before further coronavirus restrictions are put in place

Shoppers leave a Smyths Toys store in Glasgow today with their purchases before further coronavirus restrictions are put in place

Shoppers line up today to enter a Smyths Toys store in Glasgow while others leave with gifts

Shoppers line up today to enter a Smyths Toys store in Glasgow while others leave with gifts

The public is shopping last minute in Lush in Glasgow this afternoon

The public is shopping last minute in Lush in Glasgow this afternoon

Scotland's Level 0-4 System, How It Works:

Level 0: As close as possible to normal. Broadly in line with the situation in Scotland in August when the virus was suppressed but is still there. At this level, eight people from three households can meet indoors, and most organizations would use open security measures.

Level 1: Household gatherings were reduced to six from two households, but overall a reasonable level of normality.

Level 2: Restrictions on hospitality and no gatherings in people's homes.

Level 3: Much of the hospitality is completely closed. But restaurants can be "at least partially" open.

Level 4: Closer to a full lockdown, with non-essential businesses closed. But six people from up to two households could still meet outdoors.

The travel regulations, which were published yesterday just one day before they came into force, include restrictions between Scotland and other parts of the common travel area: England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Under the heading "Restrictions on Leaving Scotland", the regulations state: "A person living in Scotland may not leave Scotland to enter or stay in any place within the common travel area."

A Cumbria Police spokesman said today of people crossing the border into England: “Anyone entering England must comply with English regulations.

This means they must have a valid reason to leave their home, e.g. Work, study, shop for essentials, exercise, and other regulations they must adhere to, including not being away from home overnight.

“The same goes for people from England who travel to Scotland. Therefore, anyone traveling to Scotland needs to find out about the regulations in the region of Scotland they are planning to travel to.

"Cumbria Police do not do any border control and we will continue to use the 4E approach to compliance and enforcement regardless of where people started their journey."

The entry restrictions for Scotland state: "A person who lives in any place within the common travel area referred to in paragraph 4 may not enter or stay in Scotland."

However, the regulations provide that travel can take place "to reach a location outside of Scotland".

Dr. Nick McKerrell, law professor at Glasgow Caledonian University and an expert on human rights rights, told the Scot, “Public health has been a longstanding cause of government interference that limits the human rights of individuals.

Lyndsey McDermott is moving a notice board describing social distancing measures in her Tinsel & Tartan Christmas shop in Stirling today. The shop is closing with their online business today due to recent restrictions to continue

Lyndsey McDermott is moving a notice board describing social distancing measures in her Tinsel & Tartan Christmas shop in Stirling today. The shop is closing with their online business today due to recent restrictions to continue

Members of the public wear face coverings outside of Tinsel & Tartan in Stirling today

Members of the public wear face coverings outside of Tinsel & Tartan in Stirling today

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh yesterday

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh yesterday

“The big difference in enforcing a travel ban within community boundaries, however, is that the police must have arbitrary powers to stop random cars in order to be operational.

“This is something we do not allow in our law for driving ban violations. There has to be a reason the police stopped the car.

“What kind of drivers are stopped under the travel ban? People who drive late at night? People who drive near community lines? People whose cars are registered outside the area they are traveling in? Nobody knows. In this legal environment, human rights violations become more likely to occur.

"The published law must make it explicitly clear what precise authority there is for police officers."

Shoppers on Buchanan Street in Glasgow go Christmas shopping last night

Shoppers on Buchanan Street in Glasgow go Christmas shopping last night

Northern Ireland will extend the hospitality shutdown

Stormont leaders have defended new lockdown measures on Northern Ireland amid strong corporate backlash.

First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O & # 39; Neill confirmed the introduction of a strict two-week hiatus of non-essential retail stores on a shutdown list that already includes much of the hospitality industry.

The strict restriction, which is close to the severity of the March lockdown, with the exception that schools remain open, will go into effect next Friday.

Despite highlighting the need for tough measures to keep healthcare from becoming overwhelmed, the executive on Friday allowed several relaxations agreed last week with the reopening of cafes and close-liaison services like hairdressers.

These stores will have to close again next Friday when the ramped lock is put in place.

The latest executive announcement has been widely criticized by company officials who have accused the government of ill-treating the pandemic response and failing to provide adequate financial support to help businesses in trouble.

The restrictions agreed by the executive late Thursday are stricter than proposals vetoed by the DUP last week, leading rivals to blame the party for a major U-turn.

Health Secretary Robin Swann's proposals last week sparked four days of bitter fighting between executive ministers, with the DUP battling the other four executive parties.

Mr Swann returned at Thursday's meeting with suggestions for even tighter restrictions, warning that not even a full lockdown in mid-December would save the region's hospitals from congestion if not implemented.

This time the DUP supported the steps together with the other parties.

First Minister Arlene Foster justified her party's change of attitude today and insisted that she had reacted to the deterioration in medical and scientific knowledge – namely to an increase in the infection rate (R number) to over 1.

A Scottish government spokesman told the Guardian that the rules "are entirely the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament".

They added: “England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland and many parts of Europe have legal restrictions on unnecessary travel in various forms. In Scotland, they need to underpin an approach that subjects different parts of the country to different safeguards. "

The First Minister added: “In such a situation, it is absolutely up to someone like me to do my best to do the right and necessary things, even if they are not always popular or welcome.

"I would fail in my responsibility if I did not do so because of travel restrictions."

The UK recorded 22,915 new cases yesterday – a 31.5 percent decrease from last week – and 501 deaths, an 11 percent decrease.

Of these, 1,089 cases were in Scotland, while 50 deaths were reported north of the border.

Eleven parishes in West Central Scotland with a total population of 2.3 million people will enter restricted level 4 at 6pm today.

All non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes, swimming pools, gyms and tourist attractions must be closed.

Last night shoppers flocked to their local highways to enjoy one final hit with non-essential shopping before the rules go into effect.

Pictures showed huge crowds of locals using the shops before they – along with gyms and beauty salons – had to close their doors.

What was previously used as a guide for Scots to avoid entering or exiting Level 3 or 4 areas is now regulated by law, and those who break the rules will be fined £ 60.

And yesterday the MSPs voted 99-23 to support the restrictions. The parliamentary debate was not about approving or rejecting the amendments but expressing Parliament's support for the regulations.

A Conservative amendment, which was rejected by 71 votes to 51, called on the Scottish government to release evidence of the move to the highest restrictions.

Scottish Labor tried to amend the government's motion to lift the travel ban and push for mass testing and improvements to Test and Protect, but the MSPs opposed the change by 99-22.

A green amendment urging the Scottish government to improve support for self-isolating people was also adopted unanimously.

Closing the debate, Michael Matheson, Minister of Transport, said: “Despite some disagreements shared this afternoon, I have no doubt … we all have the common goal of suppressing the virus as best we can and our country as well as this pandemic progresses as possible to manage. & # 39;

Coronavirus rules in Scotland

Coronavirus rules in Scotland

Under the Scottish Government's coronavirus restrictions, all non-essential businesses must close in Level 4 areas while travel is restricted to essential trips only

Scotland coronavirus rules

Scotland coronavirus rules

Under the Scottish Government's coronavirus restrictions, people in Level 4 areas are not allowed to meet people from other households indoors, but they can meet outdoors

Donald Cameron, Tory MSP, said: “We have not yet heard of the justification for maintaining a Level 4 lockdown for three weeks, and the Scottish Government has not shared any evidence as to why that specific length of time.

Scotland has recorded 32 deaths and 1,018 positive tests for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours

Scotland has recorded 32 coronavirus deaths and 1,018 positive tests in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon said.

During the Scottish Government's daily briefing, the Prime Minister said the death toll from the measure – of people who tested positive for the virus for the first time in the past 28 days – had risen to 3,459.

Ms. Sturgeon said the daily rate of positivity for the tests is 4.8 percent, down from 4.6 percent the previous day.

A total of 86,630 people tested positive in Scotland, up from 85,612. Of the new cases, 391 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 162 in Lanarkshire and 123 in Lothian.

There are 1,234 people in the hospital who have been confirmed to have the virus within 24 hours at 22. Of those patients, 88 are in intensive care, three more.

"I wonder if they would set this three-week period as the absolute maximum and put that end date into law."

Mr Cameron also pointed out that there was a household blending ban in Glasgow, East Renfewshire and West Dunbartonshire as of September 1st.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie fought back tears as he paid tribute to those, including his own mother, who volunteered for vaccination trials and who had taken the "biological front" to the applause of other MSPs .

He added: “We should show immense respect to these many people because if we as Parliament can show the same selflessness in the way we do our work to protect our country as they have shown, we will well don't do bad. & # 39;

The Minister of Transport thanked Mr. Harvie's mother in his closing speech.

Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie looked back on the summer that saw Scotland go through several weeks without a single death from someone confirmed to have coronavirus. He claimed that the work was not done during this period, including examining people with no symptoms to make sure these restrictions were not necessary.

He said, "The government rejected – and I use this word carefully – asymptomatic mass tests. They believed that a negative test would make people relax and ignore the rules."

Mr Rennie said the Scottish government had not increased testing capacity as a result, but praised ministers now agreeing that asymptomatic testing is necessary, adding that they are now "catching up quickly".

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