The Scottish Government’s cross border travel ban is ‘discriminatory’ and must be overturned, according to South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.
The local MSP believes that the government is discriminating against border communities as people can travel to different parts of Scotland which have the same restriction levels if they are at level 1 or 2 but not across the border into England, except for essential purposes, even to parts of England at tier 1 or 2 restriction levels. Scotland remains the only part of the UK with such a legal ban on travel to other parts of the UK, with no legal restrictions in England or Northern Ireland. Wales recently amended their restrictions to allow travel between Wales and tier 1 and 2 areas in England.
MSPs will vote on the travel regulations in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday and Colin Smyth will speak against the regulations on behalf of Scottish Labour.
Colin Smyth said: “Once again, the Scottish Government is failing my constituents by continuing the cross-border travel ban.
“It was one thing to have such a regulation while England was in lockdown but now that the tier system has kicked in over the border, I don’t see how a travel ban can be maintained.
“People are able to freely travel between different parts of Scotland which are under the same restrictions, regardless of the Covid levels but people in border communities are unable to travel a couple of miles to Cumbria or Northumberland unless they have an essential purpose.
“Covid rates are falling in Cumbria but in Argyll and Bute for example, which is level 2, cases are increasing, and yet, people are legally allowed to travel there for any reason from the South of Scotland.
“These restrictions are disc