NICOLA Sturgeon has stressed she is “not ecstatic” about Boris Johnson visiting Scotland during a global pandemic – warning nobody should be travelling unless it is essential.
The Prime Minister is set to travel north of the border as part of a strategy to show the ‘strength of the Union’ in tackling the Covid-19 crisis – amid surging support for Scottish independence and a frustration from Westminster over the Scottish Government taking credit for measures to mitigate the pandemic.
Mr Johnson is expected to visit a Central Belt location tomorrow.
The First Minister was asked about the Prime Minister’s visit at her daily coronavirus briefing.
Ms Sturgeon said that “everybody is welcome in Scotland”, adding that the Prime Minister is “not unwelcome in Scotland”.
But the First Minister warned that “we are living in a global pandemic”.
She added: “Don’t travel unless it is really essential – work from home if you possibly can.
“That has to apply to all of us. We don’t have to travel across the UK – is that really essential right now?
“We have a duty to lead by example.”
It is thought Mr Johnson could visit a vaccination centre, highlighting the UK Government’s role in the rollout – which Ms Sturgeon has indicated does not constitute essential travel.
The public are currently not allowed to leave home, except for essential reasons such as work that cannot be done from home.
The First Minister added that people in positions of authority travelling means “it gets harder to convince other people” to follow the rules, adding that she is “not ecstatic about the Prime Minister visiting” Scotland.
Boris Johnson set to visit Scotland this week as constitutional row over Indyref2 rages
She added: “It comes down to what is essential. In normal times, we all do these things.
“In Scotland right now, I’m asking myself if it’s essential for me to go and visit a vaccine centre or not.
“When we are telling other people not to travel when it’s not really, really, really essential, then we have an obligation to subject ourselves to the same rigour.
“I would say me traveling from Edinburgh to Aberdeen to visit a vaccination centre right now is not essential.
“If we are asking other people to abide by this, it is probably incumbent on us to do likewise.”