A PASSENGER coming into the UK from a "red list" country has called the UK system "ridiculous" as those coming from high-risk areas mix with others while travelling.

It comes as Nicola Sturgeon has said Scotland will have to "look at alternatives" to quarantine loopholes that could allow travellers not on the UK's list to avoid hotel quarantine.

Anyone who flies into Scotland on an international flight has to self-isolate for 10 days in a quarantine hotel, under new regulations which took effect today.

Unless exempt, a passenger has to pay £1750 to quarantine in a room at one of six designated hotels in a bid to avoid importation of the virus.

However, Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said on Sunday that a “loophole” allowing overseas travellers to avoid hotel quarantine still exists which could “potentially undermine the public health approach here in Scotland”.

READ MORE: One of Scotland's first arrivals happy to do 'whatever it takes' under quarantine rules

Passengers arriving in England only have to quarantine in a hotel if they are coming from one of 33 "red list" countries designated as high risk, meaning travellers arriving from elsewhere could avoid it by entering Scotland via England.

The "red list" countries are those with outbreaks of the Brazilian and South African variants of the coronavirus. They include the whole of South America, southern Africa, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates.

Visitors would still have to self-isolate for the 10-day period, but would not have to do so at one of the designated hotels due to a lack of agreement between the Scottish and Westminster governments.

The "red list" method has been criticised due to passengers travelling from countries not on the list mixing with those that are while coming to the UK.

People who are now self-isolating in hotels said they were standing "shoulder to shoulder" with others on aircrafts and while disembarking before being asked to join a separate line for passport control.

Following a trip to Brazil, Wagner Araujo, 43, arrived at Heathrow via Madrid. He was then taken to a nearby hotel with his wife to begin their 10-day quarantine period.

READ MORE: Westminster's lax quarantine rules putting Scots at risk, health expert warns

He told Mail Online: "The system is ridiculous. It doesn’t make sense. I was on the flight from Madrid surrounded by other passengers who were not from red-list countries. How can that be safe and a good way to prevent coronavirus from spreading?

“We are all mixing on the plane and then I’m made to go into quarantine ... While we were waiting to get off the plane, we were all in the same queue, shoulder to shoulder. What is the point of us going into quarantine now? It’s insane.”

Guidance for airlines makes no requirement to segregate travellers in the cabin, stating: "Airlines are responsible for determining how they keep their passengers safe whilst they are on a plane.”

The National:

Speaking at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, the First Minister said: “It would be better if we had that four nations approach, or at least a three nations approach where the border of the island that Scotland, England and Wales share, had the same provisions in place.

“My responsibility is to try and protect Scotland as much as possible so if it just proves impossible to do that then we have to look at alternatives, but it would be far better to try to come to a reasonable agreement on a four nations, or at least a three nations, basis.”

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday that he is happy to discuss the matter with the Scottish Government.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon refuses to rule out closing Scotland-England border to stop Covid

Gavin Newlands, the SNP’s transport spokesman, said: “Reports that in England travellers from ‘red-list’ countries may be able to mix with other passengers in the airport before going into hotel quarantine are concerning and risk undermining efforts in tackling and suppressing the virus.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman defended the arrangements, saying the Government was “working closely with airlines and carriers who are ensuring that the flights they provide are Covid-secure”.

He added that there were “different processes for if you come from a red-list country, or if you don’t” such as a “separated baggage reclaim section”.