Greater Manchester mayor asks Scottish government to compensate holidaymakers

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham will ask Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon to compensate holidaymakers hit by the new Scottish government ban on non-essential travel.

Last week, the Scottish government said it will introduce the restriction on non-essential travel between Scotland and Manchester and Salford from Monday (June 20) because of the rise in Delta variant cases of Covid-19.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Burnham said news of the ban “came out of the blue” and he will ask for compensation for local people who had planned to travel to Scotland and businesses that could lose bookings.

“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,” he told the programme.

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

He added: “I just think it’s double standards, it’s hypocrisy.

“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?”

Burnham also said on Twitter on Sunday: “When the UK Government have made changes affecting Greater Manchester, they called us in advance to discuss. The Scottish Government gave us no such courtesy.

“Sorry but it’s straightforward arrogance to say Scottish Ministers shouldn’t deign to speak to English Mayors.”

Announcing the ban last week, Scottish transport secretary Michael Matheson said: “Nobody wants travel restrictions in place for any longer than is absolutely necessary.

“Placing restrictions on travel between Scotland and Manchester and Salford has only been taken after extremely careful consideration and analysis of data to help prevent the spread of variants of concern.”

A non-essential travel ban on Blackburn, Darwen and Bolton that came into place on May 24 remains but restrictions with Bedford were lifted on Friday.

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