Can I travel to England from Scotland? Full list of areas under Covid travel ban - including Manchester
New travel restrictions between Scotland and Manchester and Salford have come into force due to high levels of coronavirus in the areas
A surge in cases of the Delta variant in the UK has led to the Scottish Government imposing travel restrictions on parts of northern England.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Friday (18 June) that a travel ban between Scotland and Manchester and Salford would be enforced due to high levels of Covid in the areas.
The new rules come into force today (Monday 21 June), adding to other travel restrictions implemented last month as the variant of concern spread rapidly through some areas of England.
So, can you currently travel to England from Scotland, what areas are affected and how long will restrictions last?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Can you travel to England from Scotland?
As Scotland has gradually emerged from its Covid lockdown, rules surrounding travel with the rest of the UK have relaxed.
Currently, you are able to travel between Scotland and Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
While travel is allowed between Scotland and most parts of England, non-essential trips to some areas in the north west are currently restricted.
Manchester and Salford are the latest areas to be added to the list, due to a rise in the prevalence of the more transmissible Delta variant first identified in India.
Making the announcement, Ms Sturgeon said: "Manchester and Salford currently have very high levels of Covid, and so from Monday onwards, non-essential travel between Scotland and those cities is not permitted."
The Scottish Government is imposing travel bans with some parts of England in a bid to prevent variants of concern being brought back into Scotland.
But the decisions have proved controversial, with Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham accusing the SNP of “hypocrisy”.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday (20 June), Mr Burnham said the new restrictions had been announced “out of the blue”.
He said: "That is exactly what the SNP always accuse the Westminster government of doing - riding roughshod over people.
"The SNP are treating the north of England with the same contempt in bringing that in without any consultation with us."
What areas of England are affected?
As well as the cities of Manchester and Salford, non essential travel is already prohibited between Scotland and Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen.
The Scottish Government website states that travel to these places is “only allowed for permitted reasons”, including work, education and providing assistance for a vulnerable person.
Travel restrictions were imposed on Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen on 24 May amid growing concerns about the high levels of coronavirus in the two towns.
Ms Sturgeon also warned people who are planning to travel to other places in the surrounding area.
”Anyone travelling elsewhere in the Greater Manchester or Lancashire area, I'd ask to think carefully about whether your journey is really necessary, because we do see cases rising across that region,” she said.
However, travel restrictions between Scotland and Bedford were lifted on Friday following declining infection rates.
Meanwhile, travel is permitted everywhere within Scotland, including the city of Dundee which has the highest Covid case rate in the country.
It recorded 487 new cases in the week leading up to 18 June, according to official government figures, while Manchester recorded 1,928 cases and Salford 880 in the same period.
The rate per 100,000 people for all three areas is very similar.
How long will the travel bans last?
It is not clear how long the travel restrictions will be in place, with Ms Sturgeon only saying she hoped they would be “temporary”.
The SNP leader said: “Nobody wants travel restrictions. Nobody wants them to be in place longer than is necessary. We’ve actually lifted some today, and we continue to take these decisions on the basis of assessments of necessity and proportionality.”