SNP slammed by Andrew Bowie for not showing up to debate
The highly infectious Delta, originally called Indian, Covid variant has been spreading rapidly across the country. On Monday Boris Johnson announced the end of coronavirus restrictions for England will be delayed until 19 July.
Ms Sturgeon has said she will give a statement on the end of Scotland’s Covid restrictions next week.
Scotland had been due to move to the lowest rung of its five-tier lockdown system on June 28.
However it is now widely expected Ms Sturgeon will follow the example set by England and delay.
Speaking in the Scottish parliament the First Minister argued this was due to Mr Johnson’s failure to secure the UK’s borders.
Nicola Sturgeon blamed the UK Government for the Delta variant spreading
“It took until the latter part of April to put India on the red list”
She said: “At that time, despite our pleading, the UK Government only insisted on managed quarantine for red listed countries.
“It took until the latter part of April to put India on the red list.
“I said many times people have helped me see it that that left us with a serious vulnerability of people coming into the UK to English airports and travelling to Scotland, and therefore not being caught by our managed quarantine arrangement.
“We pleaded with the UK Government to put common provisions in place across the UK but we also pleaded with them, to introduce a situation where people coming into an English airport but intending to go to Scotland would be made to quarantine at the point of arrival.
Boris Johnson has delayed England’s unlocking until 19 July
“Michael Gove, I think wrote to the transport Secretary back in February, refusing point blank to do that.”
India, where the Delta variant was first detected, wasn’t placed on the UK’s red list until April 23.
This was despite the designation being given to neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh on April 9.
The First Minister added: “I do have a deep frustration about this.
SNP to send bill for Brexit port checks to London [REVEAL]
Boris ridicules SNP’s Blackford for wanting to hand back power to EU [SHOCK]
SNP makes last-ditch bid to DERAIL UK’s new trade deal with Australia [INSIGHT]
The UK’s Covid vaccination programme is significantly ahead of the EU’s
Scotland’s Covid unlocking is expected to be delayed
“We are where we are and we have to deal with this, but there is no doubt at all that too lax border controls around the whole of the UK have played a part in where are right now.”
However Scottish Conservative record Douglas Ross criticised Ms Sturgeon for not providing more clarity.
He tweeted: “It’s disappointing that Nicola Sturgeon failed to give further hope to businesses waiting to reopen, people planning weddings or parents hoping to see their children graduate from nursery.”
Weddings with more than 30 guests will be allowed in England from June 21, though social distancing will remain in place with dancing banned.
If Scotland leaves the UK it could mean a hard border with England
More than 41 million Britons have received at least one coronavirus vaccine, a far higher proportion than in most of Europe.
EU member states were badly hit by the European Commission’s sluggish procurement programme, which saw them fall behind the UK and US.
Meanwhile London mayor Sadiq Khan is urging Scotland fans without tickets not to travel to the capital, for the Euro 2020 game against England.
Douglas Ross urged Ms Sturgeon to provide more detail on her plans
He commented: “Scottish fans are renowned around the world for bringing a party atmosphere with them to the big tournaments but with Covid restrictions still in place on both sides of the border, the best thing for fans without tickets to the game or a safe place to watch it is to enjoy the game from Scotland and not come to London.
“In an ideal world I would welcome the Tartan Army to London for this match with open arms, but with Covid cases increasing, and with so much at stake as we fight this awful virus, I’m afraid that it just cannot be this time, so the best thing to do is not to come to London and instead enjoy the game at home.”
The message was backed by Nigel Huddleston, the UK sports minister, who said the Government is advising “fans without tickets to enjoy the match close to home and not travel to London unless you have somewhere already finalised to watch the game safely”.