SCOTS are being urged to avoid travel to areas in northern England facing new lockdown restrictions after a spike in coronavirus cases.

New guidance says travel between Scotland and Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire should only be undertaken if absolutely essential.

The Government says anyone in the affected areas does not need to return to Scotland early but should be “extra vigilant” in monitoring for symptoms and following the FACTS guidance both during their stay and when they return home.

Nicola Sturgeon chaired a meeting of SGORR, the Scottish Government’s Resilience Committee, following an update from the Prime Minister to the four nations on the decision to introduce new measures to control the spread of the virus in the affected areas.

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She said: “I’m grateful to the Prime Minister for the update on the recent developments in the North West of England and all four nations agreed on the importance of sharing localised information as we work together to continue to supress the virus.

“We have always been clear that localised flare ups are likely as we continue to supress the virus but by responding quickly and appropriately we can limit the effect these have on wider transmission.”

The First Minister added: “I strongly advise anyone planning to travel to areas affected in the north of England, or anyone planning to travel to Scotland from those same areas, to cancel their plans.

“Anyone whose travel is essential should follow public health advice at all times including the FACTS guidance and remain extra vigilant in monitoring for symptoms.”

These are the areas in northern England affected by the new restrictions.

  • Greater Manchester: City of Manchester, Trafford, Stockport, Oldham, Bury, Wigan, Bolton, Tameside, Rochdale, Salford
  • Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale
  • West Yorkshire: Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees