SECURITY has been stepped up at a number of top Capital attractions as the UK entered a heightened state of alert following the Parsons Green bombing in London.
Visitors to the National Museum of Scotland – the Capital’s most popular tourist attraction – could be seen queuing to enter the venue as staff searched bags and asked basic security questions.
Other venues which have also reported increases to security include Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish Parliament.
It comes after 30 people were injured – and two men later arrested – after an improvised explosive device detonated on a Tube train the Friday morning rush hour.
The UK terror threat was elevated to the highest level of ‘critical’ – meaning an attack is imminent – before returning to ‘severe’ yesterday afternoon.
One visitor to the National Museum of Scotland over the weekend said: “It was quite reassuring that they are doing extra security checks but it’s horrible that we’re in a position where tourist attractions feel it is necessary.”
The Chambers Street attraction welcomed 1.81 million visitors last year, slightly more than Edinburgh Castle.
Checks have also been increased at the castle. A spokesman for Historic Environment Scotland, who manage Edinburgh Castle said: “Following the increased UK security level, and as a precautionary measure, we introduced increased extra security checks, including extending our current bag search arrangements.
“We are continuing to monitor and review and would like to thank our visitors for their co-operation and patience.”
Meanwhile the Scottish Parliament confirmed tours and events would not take place while the terror threat level remained elevated. The venue said on Twitter: “As a result of the security threat level being raised to critical, extra security arrangements will be in place @ScotParl.
“If visiting, please allow extra time for additional security measures.”
As part of the extra security, it added visitors would not be allowed to take liquids into the building but that medication would still be permitted.
Police Scotland said there was no specific information to suggest an increased risk in Scotland. However, they said the number of armed officers would be increased.
Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: “The public should expect to see armed officers on foot patrol at key locations and crowded places across the country.
“Please do not be alarmed by the presence of these armed officers. These measures are being taken to increase security at these sites, and to reassure residents, businesses, workers and visitors so they can go about their daily lives as normally as possible.”