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Travel ban between Scotland and Manchester lifted
29 June 2021, 16:38
The ban on non-essential travel to parts of north-west England, including Manchester, is to be lifted, Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has announced.
The travel restriction between Scotland and parts of north-west England, including Manchester, was a source of controversy between the Scottish first minister and mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.
“We will be removing the travel restrictions which are currently in place in relation to travel between Scotland and Manchester, Bolton and Salford,” said Mr Housaf in a written answer to a question in the Scottish parliament.
“These restrictions are being removed due to changes in the epidemiological position for those areas.”
He added: “Restrictions between Scotland and Blackburn with Darwen will remain in place.”
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The ban came into force on 21 June in response to concerns over the Delta variant of coronavirus.
Andy Burnham welcomed the easing of restrictions, saying he was “grateful” to the first minister for lifting the ban, about which he had “serious concerns”.
“I had serious concerns about this travel ban and the way it was introduced and I have made these concerns clear over recent days,” he said in a tweet.
“I am grateful to the First Minister and to the Scottish Government for listening and for the decision they have announced today to lift the travel ban on Bolton, Manchester and Salford.”
🗣️ "I am grateful to the First Minister and to the Scottish Government for listening and for the decision they have announced today."— Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham (@MayorofGM) June 29, 2021
Andy has welcomed the lifting of the ban on non-essential travel between Scotland and the boroughs of Bolton, Manchester and Salford. pic.twitter.com/kH34LZIuLx
The travel restriction sparked a public row between Ms Sturgeon and Mr Burnham, with Mr Burnham accusing her of “hypocrisy” and threatening legal action on behalf of affected individuals and businesses.
In response, Ms Sturgeon said she was “confused” by his reaction and suggested his comments had a political motive.