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SNP MP Ian Blackford argued that more conversations needed to be had with the other UK Governments about quarantining during the coronavirus crisis. While on Sky News with Sophy Ridge, Mr Blackford hinted at Scotland closing its border to England to prevent further spread of coronavirus in the country. Mr Blackford insisted Scotland has had recent success on reducing the number of coronavirus cases and the Scottish Government is committed to taking all the appropriate measures to see this continue.
Ms Ridge asked: “If the scientists advised the Scottish Government that you would be keeping people safer if you closed the border, you would do it?”
Mr Blackford did not claim this was something the Scottish Government was preparing for but refused to rule out the possibility of a closed border.
He replied: “I don’t think we should be looking at emotive language about closing borders.
“There are checks we can put in place but this is about keeping people safe.”
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Ms Ridge interrupted to say: “People travelling from England could be forced to quarantine?
“Would that be a fairer way of putting it?”
Mr Blackford answered: “The simple fact of the matter is we have had reasonable success in driving down the incidents of the virus over the last few months.
“It has been hard-won and we have to take the appropriate measures to make sure that we can continue to see that.
“We will do that in a respectful way based on the evidence that we see.
“Of course, we always try to do things in cooperation with other parts of the United Kingdom.”
Mr Blackford also claimed the Scottish Government greatly values the tourism industry and still wants to welcome people into the country.
Mr Blackford said: “Of course we don’t want to stop people travelling.
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“We want to make sure we can open up as much as we can.
“But I think it is fair to say that there is a degree of frustration that we haven’t had the conversations with all the four Governments in the United Kingdom when it comes to the quarantine regulations and those coming into the UK.
“The fact is, as I have highlighted and you have conceded, the prevalent rate here is much lower.
“So we need to look at those coming into Scotland and the kind of risks that are there.
“Any decision taken by the Scottish Government will be based on the scientific advice that we get and keep people safe.”
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