The Scottish Government has revealed a “cross border” cluster of covid-19 cases in Dumfries and Galloway.
Nicola Sturgeon announced the outbreak at her press conference in Edinburgh.
The disclosure fuelled the bitter row over whether English tourists will have to be quarantined when they come to Scotland.
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Coronavirus levels are falling in Scotland, but concern exists about different infection numbers north and south of the border.
Speaking at her daily press briefing, Sturgeon said there had been a “cluster of cases that has recently been identified in the Dumfries and Galloway area”.
National clinical director Jason Leitch offered more detail: “I can also advise today of a cross border cluster of cases between the north west of England and Dumfries and Galloway. A number of cases have been identified around Gretna and Annan.”
He said the last positive case in the local health board area had been 22nd June: “This is a complex but small cluster, captured in different testing areas.”
He said: “Clusters are easier to deal with than sustained community transmission.”
“This is exactly what we expected to happen at this stage of the pandemic.”
However, the revelation led to questions on whether people from south of the border could have to quarantine upon arrival in Scotland.
The First Minister has previously said the Scottish Government has no plans to impose quarantine on people coming to Scotland from other parts of the UK, but she has also declined to rule out the measure.
In a tweet today, Sturgeon pointed to the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, who has said people will have to quarantine if they travel to his state from other areas.
She wrote: “Public health, not politics, must drive decisions on COVID. I’m sure the Governor of New York isn’t being political in imposing quarantine on people from higher transmission US states – he’s acting to protect the people he serves from a deadly virus.”
At her briefing, she said: “Other countries are just doing what they need to do in a public health sense to stop the transmission of a virus.”
She added: “I have no proposal on the table to have quarantine for people coming into Scotland from the rest of the UK, so there is nothing to discuss right now.
“I would not be doing my job properly if I ruled things out.”