NICOLA Sturgeon has announced plans to go further than the UK Government and introduce "a managed quarantine requirement" for anyone who arrives in Scotland from another country. 

Travellers coming into the UK from countries with a travel ban in place will already be required to quarantine in hotels.

But the First Minister insisted this does not go far enough in stopping the spread of the virus. 

Addressing MSPs in Holyrood, she said coronavirus was almost eliminated in Scotland by early July last year, but overseas travel "allowed it to be re-seeded". 

She said: "We must guard against that happening again.

"It is to that end that the four UK nations have already agreed that travellers coming into the UK from countries with a travel ban in place will be required to quarantine in hotels.

"This is a necessary measure – but in the Scottish Government’s view, it does not go far enough.

"Firstly, there should be very few people coming from countries with a ban in place anyway.

"Second, this approach leaves open the possibility that people will travel into the UK from those countries via third countries.

"And thirdly, an approach to managed quarantine that only includes countries where new variants have already been identified is too reactive - because often by the time a new variant has been identified through genomic sequencing, it will already have spread across borders.

"So the firm view of the Scottish Government is that in order to minimise the risk of new strains coming into the country, managed quarantine must be much more comprehensive.

"I can therefore confirm today that we intend to introduce a managed quarantine requirement for anyone who arrives directly into Scotland, regardless of which country they have come from.

"Obviously, we cannot unilaterally implement immediate managed quarantine for people who arrive in other parts of the UK before travelling on to Scotland.

"So we will continue to urge the UK Government to adopt a comprehensive approach.

"And if they do not wish to do so - as is their prerogative - we will ask them to work with us to reduce the risk amongst people travelling to Scotland via ports elsewhere in the UK.

"We will set out more detail of how and when the managed quarantine system will be operationalised as soon as possible.

"I understand how tough restrictions are for our travel and aviation industry, so we will also work with the UK Government to ensure the sector gets the support it needs until such time as we are able to start to ease travel restrictions."

Airports bosses said the announcement was made without any consultation and with no further details provided.

Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, which owns Aberdeen and Glasgow airports, said: “This is the third significant announcement regarding travel restrictions in as many weeks which, once again, have been introduced without any consultation whatsoever.

"We’re also lacking any detail on how the latest layer of restrictions will be implemented.

"We understand the need for short-term emergency measures, and we all want to see this virus brought under control as quickly as possible, however, it’s imperative government engages with industry on developing a recovery plan.

"Our airports are effectively closed, they have been for almost one year and without a recovery plan from government there is no end in sight.

"We need to see sector specific support beyond the rates relief otherwise our entire industry will remain in a perilous position."

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: "We still don't know how this is expected to work, when it is being enacted and what it means for airports and our industry so yet again we ask the Scottish Government to talk to us.

"Business changing policy with no detail is damaging because we can't plan our response or our recovery, which will feed into Scotland's recovery.

"We understand restrictions are required but we're now coming up for a year of little to no passengers without direct industry support.

"We urgently need to agree a road map to recovery."