Covid quarantine laws are a mess and 'unenforceable' MSPs are warned

Passengers Guy arriving at Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport in London.Passengers Guy arriving at Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport in London.
Passengers Guy arriving at Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport in London. | PA (Press Association)
New quarantine laws which will see people arriving at Scots airports instructed to self-isolate for fourteen days are a "mess" and “unenforceable" MSPs have been warned

Leading QC John Scott also claimed that the UK Government is seeking a way to “get rid of” of the new laws aimed at choking off the spread of Coronavirus.

The head of Police Scotland, Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, admitted that he has "reservations" about the demands it will place on the force and potential strain on relations with the public.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The new laws came into force at the weekend and will see Scots fined £480 if they are found to have breached the restriction. In England, the fine is £1,000.

Iain Livingstone has expressed "reservations"Iain Livingstone has expressed "reservations"
Iain Livingstone has expressed "reservations" | JPIMedia

The measures were introduced by the UK Government and apply in Scotland because border control is a “reserved” issue under the devolution settlement.

But Mr Scott, who heads up an advisory group on Scotland’s emergency lockdown laws, told Holyrood's justice sub-committee on policing today: "The quarantine regulations, and speaking personally here, I think are a mess. I do not understand them.

"They appear to be unenforceable. It looks as though the UK Government is trying to find a way within the next few weeks to get rid of them or to forget they're there or to pretend that they were never there."

He also raised concerns that the Scottish Government regulations for the new laws were only published last Sunday as they came into force.

Mr Livingstone also raised concerns about the quarantine rules as he gave evidence to the committee

"I have reservations about the demands they potentially put on policing,” he said.

“I also have reservations about that relationship or trust I was addressing both today and over the last couple of months about, if you like, the police knocking on peoples' door who were in essence not committing any level of offence or committing any level of harm.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"But it's a balance that needs to be struck because of the public health benefit."

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.Subscribe to scotsman.com and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Joy Yates

Editorial Director

Comments

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.