THOUSANDS of cars are crossing the Scottish Border every day from northern England where the Covid-19 R number is growing, new figures have revealed.

While those arriving in Scotland by air must self-isolate for two weeks or face a fine, drivers are able to travel freely across the UK despite increasingly different restrictions in each of the four nations.

In the north-west of England, the coronavirus infection rate began to rise again last week – prompting fears of a second wave of deaths in the area.

READ MORE: Police turn around people travelling from England to Scotland

The north-west currently has the highest number of people hospitalised with coronavirus in England – more than in London, the midlands and the south west.

The R number, effectively a measure of the rate at which Covid-19 is being passed on, could be at one or above in the region according to some modelling. This means the number of Covid-19 infections could start growing again.

A journalist for The Times asked First Minister Nicola Sturgeon asked about the thousands of cars travelling into Scotland from the north of England each day and asked what could be done to prevent further spreading of Covid-19.

READ MORE: Man caught during 270-mile trip to Scotland 'unaware of travel ban'

The SNP leader replied: “We monitor all of this carefully but the main thing all of us can do right now to stop the R rate rising and to stop all of these other indicators rising is comply with all of the guidance and that means not meeting other than the one household a day outside, not meeting up with people we would normally meet up with and when we are meeting people from other households keep that two-metre physical distancing, so sometimes in all of this it’s really important to bring it all back to the basics.

“The way we stop this is two metres physical distancing with people from other households, washing your hands regularly and thoroughly, cleaning hard surfaces that you might be touching and try not to touch hard surfaces that other people will have been touching, these are the basic things we need to do.

“And obviously we monitor what’s happening with the R rate in Scotland, we monitor it in England, and any other actions we think are appropriate we will take if we think they’re appropriate but I don’t think it’s particularly helpful for me to speculate more on that at this stage.”

Covid-19 restrictions are still different in England and Scotland despite gradual relaxation of measures in both nations.

The National:

Sturgeon has said: “We are not putting a legal limit on how far you can travel to meet another household, but please use your good judgement.

“If the distance is so far that you would have to use someone else’s bathroom, then perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Last month police in Cumbria warned they had been called out more than 100 times in one weekend as people flouted lockdown restrictions – and had to turn people around as they tried to travel into Scotland while the strictest measures remained in place. At the time only “essential” travel was allowed by law across all four nations.

Police in the area said they had found many had “scurrilous” reasons for travelling. In a Twitter post they revealed they fined a family of four for attempting to travel from London to Motherwell for a three-day break.