NICOLA Sturgeon has threatened to shut the border between England and Scotland amid a major row over hotel quarantine plans.
The First Minister said she couldn’t rule out imposing border controls to stop people sneaking around her strict travel measures.
Her warning came as England’s hotel quarantine scheme finally came into force today for travellers from 33 high risk countries.
But Scotland is demanding that all arrivals from anywhere abroad self isolate in a hotel for 10 days.
Ms Sturgeon wants England to enforce her policy for everyone who plans to head north of the border.
She fears otherwise people will use that route as a backdoor into Scotland to get around the restrictions.
It came as…
Asked today if she could close the border if that doesn’t happen, Ms Sturgeon replied: “I do not rule it out.”
She said: “I would like to have the most effective system in place here.
“It would be better if we had a three nations approach where the border across the island Scotland, England and Wales share had the same provisions in place.
“I’m trying to be constructive here. I want us to come to the best solution possible.”
She added: “It is of course up to every government to make their own judgment and take their own decisions.
“But at the moment anyone who lands at an airport elsewhere in the UK and then travels on to Scotland won’t be put into a hotel for managed isolation if their flight is from a destination outside the UK’s list of high-risk countries.
“The reason why we have decided to adopt stricter rules is because we think it is important to go as far as we can.”
The First Minister said her main duty is “to try to protect Scotland” and if that meant closing the border “it may come to that”.
But added said a more “effective solution” would be for English authorities to enforce Scotland’s quarantine scheme on its behalf.
Scotland’s First Minister has also been pushing for all four UK nations to adopt her blanket hotel quarantine policy for all foreign arrivals.
The row comes after a weeks of talks between all four UK nations about coordinating border measures to keep new variants out.
Today the first guests arriving in England from “red list” countries were made to check into £1,750 hotel isolation.
Passengers touching down at Heathrow were escorted by security personnel to coaches which took them to nearby hotels.
Eight passengers were taken by G4S guards through Terminal 5 onto a shuttle bus to take them to the quarantine hotels just after 8am.
The small crowd had been grouped together at customs from different flights from red-list destinations such as South Africa and Argentina on connecting flights from Doha, Qatar, and Madrid, Spain.
A handful of people pulled up to the four star Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel shortly before 9am.
The rules technically apply to people destined for Scotland, but it is still unclear how that will be policed in practice.
And Tory MPs have criticised Ms Sturgeon’s demand that England enforces their stricter regime.
Peter Bone said the move was “ridiculous and bears no logic”.
He told MailOnline: “It is wrong for the First Minister of Scotland to try and impose her laws on English airports.”
Loved-up Brits must be allowed weddings from March 8, Tory MPs demand
Brits who escape hotel quarantine before their isolation period is up will be slapped with a fine of up to £10,000.
And those who lie on official forms about whether they’ve been in a red list country can face up to 10 years in jail.
The system has been introduced to prevent Covid mutation, such as the South African variant, from spreading in Britain.