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Sturgeon warns over trips to England’s COVID hotspots after cases linked to Blackpool

Written by on 14/10/2020

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is advising people against travelling to coronavirus hotspots in England after dozens of people who tested positive had recently visited Blackpool.

At least 180 people in Scotland who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last month reported a recent trip to the seaside town.

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Restrictions started in parts of Scotland on Friday
Image: Restrictions started in parts of Scotland on Friday

Blackpool and the rest of Lancashire are currently on Tier 2 restrictions.

The first minister said a separate incident management team had been set up to deal with people who have travelled between the town and Scotland.

She said: “I need to advise you that trips to Blackpool are now associated with a large and growing number of COVID cases in Scotland.”

She added: “Blackpool is being mentioned in Test and Protect conversations far more than any other location outside of Scotland.”

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She said 342 people who were contacted by Test and Protect in the past week after contracting coronavirus reported travel outside of Scotland, 252 to somewhere else in the UK and 94 to Blackpool.

She warned Celtic and Rangers fans should not travel to Blackpool to watch the Old Firm match in pubs on Saturday.

She added those who have not already booked a trip to the area should not now do so.

In Lancashire the rate is 310.7 per 100,000, with 4,689 cases recorded in the week up to 10 October.

County council chief Geoff Driver has said further restrictions for Lancashire are “inevitable”.

He warned hospital admissions would reach the level they were at the height of the first wave within three weeks if measures were not brought in.

Meanwhile Ms Sturgeon also said she backs Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford’s call for the UK Government to introduce travel restrictions to prevent movement of people from areas of high prevalence into other UK nations.

She said she will be writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “seek urgent talks” on the issue.

The first minister said: “We are currently advising against non-essential travel to the parts of England which are classed as very high or high alert areas under England’s new three-tier system.

“And I’m asking people from these areas not to travel to Scotland either.”

Ms Sturgeon said 15 deaths of confirmed coronavirus patients have been reported across Scotland in the past 24 hours and 1,429 people have tested positive.

 Sky News

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