Nicola Sturgeon urges Scots who work in England to 'stay at home'

12 May 2020, 15:36

Nicola Sturgeon was speaking on Tuesday
Nicola Sturgeon was speaking on Tuesday. Picture: PA

By Ewan Somerville

Nicola Sturgeon has urged Scottish people who work in England to stay at home.

The First Minister said “unequivocally” that employers south of the border should “have regard” to the Scottish Government’s stay-at-home rules which remain in force.

Scotland has broken with Boris Johnson’s new three-phase “roadmap” to reopen the economy, which has encouraged millions who cannot work from home to return to workplaces from Wednesday.

All three devolved leaders have refused to adopt Downing Street’s new “stay alert” approach, with Ms Sturgeon insisting “lives will be lost unnecessarily” by easing restrictions now.

Asked on Tuesday what her message would be to employers on the Scottish border including Carlisle, she urged bosses to be “responsible”.

“I would say to employers wherever your head office is, wherever you’re based, if you are employing people who live in Scotland,” she told an Edinburgh press briefing.

She added: “We all want to see business able to operate as close to normal as possible, as soon as possible, but I will not act in a way that compromises the safety of workers.”

Scottish people are being advised to stay home
Scottish people are being advised to stay home. Picture: PA

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UK Government ministers have scrambled to warn people against using public transport on Wednesday as millions of England workers prepare to head back to work.

The Prime Minister has “actively encouraged” those in manufacturing and construction jobs in particular to return.

But trade union leaders have branded the plan “crazy” and a “recipe for chaos”, as rail unions also rounded on new Government guidance telling commuters they should be “prepared to queue”.

Robert Nisbet, of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said: "We need everyone's help to keep trains for those who really need them, so please only use the railway if you absolutely have to."

It came as Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the Government’s furlough scheme until the end of October - but said employers would be asked to chip into the cost from August.

But he announced a relaxation on the scheme that will allow some of Britain’s 7.5 million workers to return part-time if the curbs allow.