NEARLY three quarters of Scottish voters believe implementing border restrictions may be necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19, according to a new poll.

A Panelbase survey, commissioned by Wings Over Scotland, asked 1000 voters in both England and Scotland for their views on the current Border row.

This week the First Minister refused to rule out implementing quarantine rules for people entering Scotland from other parts of the UK if public health advice deemed it necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Responding, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack accused her of “reckless” and “divisive” talk, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was “no such thing” as the Scottish Border.

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Days later, Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg claimed Scotland is just a “district or area” and insisted the UK is “one country” with no internal borders.

England and Scotland have responded to the coronavirus pandemic differently, and according to public health expert Professor Devi Sridhar Scotland could eliminate the virus in weeks. However she has stressed without co-operation from England - where the virus is unlikely to be minimised for months at least - this will be difficult.

Speaking at the Scottish Government daily briefing yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon said it is estimated that England’s level of Covid-19 is currently five times higher than Scotland’s.

The Panelbase poll pointed out the “significant” pandemic lockdown rules now in England and Scotland. It asked: “Do you think it may become necessary to implement border restrictions between the two countries to prevent the spread of the disease?”

Of the 1026 Scottish voters responding 36% said yes, possibly in the future, 37% said yes, it should be happening now, 19% said no and 8% said they didn’t know.

When Wings Over Scotland broke the results down by political party, they found an overwhelming majority (91%) of SNP voters want to see restrictions brought in.

However, the study also found that when Unionist votes were combined, 59% felt there should be measures implemented now or in the future, while 32% would rather see the Border kept open no matter what. Among Tory voters 45% would like to see rules brought in now or in the future if necessary, while 47% were against the idea.

In England, the poll of 1015 voters found very similar results. Some 74% of those polled felt the Border should be closed now or in the future if necessary, while 17% rejected the idea.