Coronavirus: Scots warned to avoid Covid hotspots in England

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The Scottish government has warned people not to visit areas of England affected by new local lockdown rules.

It said travel between Scotland and Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire should only be undertaken if "absolutely essential".

People who are already in the affected areas do not need to return to Scotland early but are being urged to be "extra vigilant" in monitoring for symptoms.

Meanwhile, 30 more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was the first time in eight weeks that so many cases had been recorded in a single day.

She said the government was paying "close attention" to the figures – but pointed out that the number of tests being carried out had risen from 5,000 to 15,000 a day over the same period.

The positive cases represented less than 1% of those who had been tested, and were spread over nine health board areas.

The UK government imposed new local restrictions, which include banning separate households from meeting each other at home, in the north of England after a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Westminster Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the increase in transmission was due to people visiting friends and relatives.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had given an update to the devolved government's of the UK on the reasons for the decision.

The advice urging Scots not to travel to the affected areas of England was issued after Ms Sturgeon chaired a meeting of the Scottish government's resilience committee.

She said all four nations "agreed on the importance" of information sharing.

"We have always been clear that localised flare ups are likely as we continue to supress the virus but by responding quickly and appropriately we can limit the effect these have on wider transmission," she said.

"I strongly advise anyone planning to travel to areas affected in the north of England, or anyone planning to travel to Scotland from those same areas, to cancel their plans."

She added that those whose travel was essential "should follow public health advice at all times".

The areas affected by the local restrictions are:

  • Greater Manchester: City of Manchester, Trafford, Stockport, Oldham, Bury, Wigan, Bolton, Tameside, Rochdale, Salford
  • Lancashire: Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale
  • West Yorkshire: Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees

Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast the UK government had taken "targeted" action based on information gathered from contact tracing, which he said showed that "most of the transmission is happening between households visiting each other, and people visiting relatives and friends".

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