More than 90% of Tele readers who voted in an online poll are in favour of closing the Anglo-Scottish border to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
With the two nations recording different rates of infection and death from Covid-19 – as well as different dates for easing of lockdown measures – it now appears the Scottish public fear infections could rise from people travelling to Scotland from elsewhere in Great Britain.
The Tele asked its readers if they backed a possible closure, following a petition being launched which thousands have signed.
In just 24 hours, 4,024 people voted in our poll asking if non-essential traffic coming to-and-from England should be restricted.
This means vehicles such as those delivering essential supplies, the emergency services and other vital traffic would be allowed to pass through.
A huge majority of 91.33% (3,675) said they favoured the move, with 8.67% (349) disagreeing.
At present there are no hard borders between Wales and England or England and Scotland – meaning checkpoints would be essential for any plan to be put into practice.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Wednesday there were eight new cases of Covid-19 in Scotland, with one person dying in the past 24 hours, following three deaths the day before.
These announcements came after four days of no recorded Covid-related deaths.
In England, 196 more cases were recorded between Tuesday and Wednesday, with 151 deaths reported.
Comments on the Tele’s Facebook page offered a wide-range views of Ms Sturgeon’s comments.
Shirley Hughes wrote: “Totally agree with this, I have family in England and soon to be another two arrivals which we would love to get the chance to meet, but there is still way too much risk for either families to take a vacation and there should be checks done, otherwise we will just end up way worse than before.”
However, Claire Lawson wrote: “I live in London but I am from Dundee. I am desperate to get home to see my family who I haven’t seen since Christmas.
“They had a trip booked here at the beginning of lockdown which was cancelled. Everyone was so disappointed but it was the right decision at the time.
“I have direct flights booked from London to Dundee at beginning of August. I have followed all of the rules over the past few months so why shouldn’t I be allowed to come and see my family?
“Obviously I will only be travelling if I am completely well. I have worked the whole of lockdown and couldn’t arrive and isolate for 14 days as I would have to be back here for work. I think everyone has to be sensible and make informed decisions on what’s best for them.”
Meanwhile, a cross-border “incident management team” has been put together by Health Protection Scotland and Public Health England, it was announced yesterday.
It comes after a “cluster” of coronavirus cases were identified across south west Scotland and north west England, stretching across the border.
The cases are “complex” as some may live on one side of the border but have been infected or tested on the other side, according to Professor Jason Leitch, the National Clinical Director of Healthcare Quality and Strategy for Scotland.