Nicola Sturgeon slams UK government's 'shambolic' coronavirus handling

Scottish first minister criticise 'shifting sands' of UK policy

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Friday 03 July 2020 15:13 BST
Nicola Sturgeon slams UK government's 'shambolic' coronavirus handling

Scotland's first minister has slammed the UK government "shambolic" handling of decision-making during the coronavirus crisis.

Nicola Sturgeon criticised the "shifting sands" of UK policy and said there had been a lack of consultation on key issues.

Spelling out her administration's policy on travel abroad, she told a press conference: "When so much is at stake as it is right now, we can't allow ourselves to be dragged along in the wake of, to be quite frank about it, another Government's shambolic decision process.

Explaining her position on the latest issue of so-called "air bridges" to other countries, she added: "We want to welcome visitors again from around the world and we also want to allow our own citizens to travel.

"We also want, if possible for obvious practical reasons, to have alignment on these matters with the rest of the UK."

But she said: "Just to illustrate the point (on) the shifting sands of the UK Government's position - the list of countries that they were yesterday demanding that the Scottish Government sign up to, and suggesting we were a barrier to getting an agreement on, is not the same as the list they have shared with us today."

Ms Sturgeon added that the Scottish Government had assessed the prevalence of coronavirus in Scotland as being five times lower than in England.

She announced that one more person had died after testing positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 2,488. This compares with the UK-wide figure of 89 deaths on Thursday, and an official UK tally of 43,995.

Further evidence of UK government incoherence came on Friday afternoon after Greece was included on a list of countries exempt from quaratine, despite transport secretary Grant Shapps saying in the morning that it would not be.

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