Professor Devi Sridhar, who sits on the Scottish Government's Covid-19 Advisory Group, said Scotland and Northern Ireland are seeking to dirve virus cases down to zero – but England and Wales are behaving “like the rest of Europe.”
But the comments came under fire from opposition leaders who said recent outbreaks in Aberdeen and Orkney could not be put down to imported cases.
Professor Sridhar is chair of global public health at Edinburgh University, but has been an outspoken figure during the pandemic. She apologised recently after suggesting recently that pro-union supporters were anti-Scottish.
She states in a New York Times article: “Scotland and Northern Ireland have looked ahead at the coming winter and made a concerted plan to minimise community transmission to avoid a serious resurgence of the virus, by using the summer to drive cases as close to zero as possible and to reopen cautiously.
“But neither nation has control over its borders because they are parts of the United Kingdom.
“So both now face a stream of incoming infections from England and Wales, which are behaving more like the rest of Europe, as well as from people returning from holiday abroad and not abiding by advice to isolate for 14 days.”
But the claims were dismissed by Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie.
He said: “It's news to me that people from England and Wales were responsible for the outbreaks we've seen in Aberdeen, Orkney, Lanarkshire and Glasgow.
"It is unhelpful for Professor Sridhar to be feeding a divisive nationalist narrative without scientific evidence to back it up.'
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