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Mr Neil called out Ms Sturgeon’s aide by stating it was not the UK Government’s responsibility but in fact, the onus is “in SNP hands”. Professor Devi Sridhar, founding Director of the University of Edinburgh’s Global Health Governance Programme, tweeted: “How can we get numbers down if people keep returning from trips abroad to Covid hotspots like Dubai? This is a reserved power to the UK Government.
“They are undermining all local efforts to suppress because they’re not putting in place any real travel restrictions.”
However, today Mr Neil, the former BBC political presenter, responded by tweeting, “It’s not a reserved power.
“It was always a matter in the hands of the SNP government in Edinburgh, which I think you support.
“As evinced by the fact that at 21.36 this evening the Scottish Government announced all those arriving from Dubai must quarantine.”
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Dubai has now been added to Scotland’s travel quarantine list.
Anyone travelling to Scotland from Dubai will be told to self-isolate for 10 days.
The Scottish Government said the change was due to positive coronavirus cases being detected in passengers who had flown into Glasgow from Dubai since the beginning of 2021.
The Government said this “preventative action” was one aspect of the battle to reduce rising infections.
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Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “It is evident, both in Scotland and in countries across the world, that the virus continues to pose real risks to health and to life and we need to interrupt the rise in cases.”
He added: “Imposing quarantine requirements on those arriving in the UK is our first defence in managing the risk of imported cases from communities with high risks of transmission.
“That is why we have made the decision to remove Dubai from the country exemptions list.
“Whether or not an overseas destination has been designated for quarantine restrictions, our message remains clear that people should not currently be undertaking non-essential foreign travel.
“People need to stay at home to help suppress the virus, protect our NHS, and save lives.”
Speaking to the BBC Joanne Dooey, president of the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA), said: “Removing Dubai from the safe list is understandable.
“We believe that there has been a cluster of infections around Scots who travelled to Dubai over the Christmas and New Year period.
“Whilst we’re keen to see a return to increased international travel, protecting the health of the whole country remains our key concern and we are supportive of this move.”
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