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media captionAndy Burnham accuses the Scottish government of hypocrisy over travel ban

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has accused the Scottish government of "hypocrisy" after it announced a travel ban to parts of the region.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday non-essential travel from Scotland to Salford and Manchester would be banned from Monday.

Mr Burnham said the decision was "announced out of the blue" and was "completely disproportionate".

The Scottish government said the decision had to be made quickly.

Mr Burnham said different arrangements could have been made "if the first minister had been in touch with us".

image copyrightReutersimage captionNicola Sturgeon announced the latest travel rules on Friday

At a briefing on Friday, Ms Sturgeon said: "Anyone travelling elsewhere in the Greater Manchester or Lancashire area, I'd ask to think carefully about whether your journey is really necessary, because we do see cases rising across that region."

She said travel would be prohibited "between Scotland and those cities" to "minimise the risk of either exacerbating the situation there or indeed allowing more virus to come back here to Scotland".

Non-essential travel is already banned from Scotland to Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen, while there has been an easing of travel restrictions with Bedford and the Republic of Ireland.

North-west England had the highest proportion of people in England who are likely to test positive for the virus in the week to 12 June, at a rate of about one in 180.

Scotland, which has the highest infection rate in Europe but also one of the highest vaccination rates, has paused the lifting of Covid restrictions this summer due to rising cases.

'Riding roughshod'

Appearing on BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Burnham said: "I was really disappointed on Friday that the first minister of Scotland just announced out of the blue – as far as we were concerned – a travel ban saying that people couldn't travel from Scotland to Manchester and Salford, and people couldn't go the other way.

"That is exactly what the SNP always accuse the Westminster government of doing – riding roughshod over people.

"The SNP are treating the north of England with the same contempt in bringing that in without any consultation with us."

He added: "I just think it's double standards, it's hypocrisy."

Mr Burnham said he would write to Ms Sturgeon and ask for the Scottish government to compensate local people who had planned to travel to Scotland and businesses that could lose bookings.

"Why should a couple from Salford – who are double jabbed – who are about to go on a walking holiday in Scotland, not be able to go?

"We need an arrangement here.

"The Scottish government can't just impose things on parts of the north of England with no discussion with us – that is simply wrong and they need to live by the same standards that they always call from others."

'Very fast'

Speaking on BBC Scotland's The Sunday Show, Scottish government trade minister Ivan McKee said a decision had to be made quickly.

"The virus, as we know, moves very fast, decisions are made very fast and those decisions are communicated at a four-nations level," he said.

He said Mr Burnham's decision to write to the first minister was "absolutely fine and I'm sure there will be a conversation about how we can keep him better informed in future".

However, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: "We know that law was made on Thursday morning to introduce these restrictions into Greater Manchester and a ban on travel, yet it wasn't announced until over 24 hours later.

"If Ivan McKee says there's not good enough dialogue between the UK government and the Scottish government, there was 24 hours that passed before anyone in Greater Manchester knew of a decision taken by the Scottish government a day earlier."

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