UK approach to International travel risky, warn Greens

The Scottish Greens have urged caution after the need for PCR testing is no longer required for double vaccinated travellers coming from non-red list countries.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the position was taken after it became clear the UK Government lifting restrictions would have an impact in Scotland too.

In her statement, the First Minister said: “We are making these changes to the travel testing rules with some reluctance. We do have a concern that the removal of testing requirements could hamper our efforts to detect new variants.”

She added that the Scottish Government is looking at “additional surveillance safeguards” to stop variants entering the country.

Scottish Greens health spokesperson Gillian Mackay said: “It’s concerning that the UK Government seem unphased about the spread of new variants of a virus which continues to evolve and can still cause illness even in people who are fully vaccinated.

"The decision to open up international travel doesn’t appear to be based on scientific evidence and is driven by the Tory approach to put economic growth before lives.

“This approach is also reflected in the reckless decision to remove furlough and cut Universal Credit, even when cases are high. It’s important we do what we can in Scotland to reduce the harm from this virus as best we can, which is why I welcome the First Minister’s commitment to additional safeguards on travel, but ultimately they cannot be as effective as testing.”