Nicola Sturgeon was forced to break her silence after a small group of Scottish nationalists were accused of being "racist". The group were seen pr
Nicola Sturgeon was forced to break her silence after a small group of Scottish nationalists were accused of being “racist”. The group were seen protesting at the weekend on a stretch of the A1, telling those travelling from England not to come into Scotland due to the different coronavirus infection rates. Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf tweeted: “If you are a racist, you are no friend of mine, and no part of the movement I belong to.”
At her press conference Ms Sturgeon admitted that she agreed with her cabinet minister’s comments about racism, but added that the people on the border “did not speak” for her.
She said: “They were not there on my behalf, they were not there communicating a message I endorse in any way.
“In fact, I would emphatically say I don’t endorse that.
“This is not a question about whether people in England are welcome in Scotland, it’s about public health.”
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Ms Sturgeon continued: “What I have made clear is, just as we see in other parts of the world right now, I will take decisions based protecting the people of Scotland if there is a risk to public health.
“That is not political, it’s not constitutional, it’s certainly not based on any desire to keep English people out of Scotland.
“I think even my sternest critics could look at my record in politics and know that that is not who I am, and that’s not what my party is about.
“But right now we’re facing a pandemic of a virus and all around the world right now, you will see these very objective public health decisions being taken.”
People in Scotland are now able to return to beer gardens and pavement cafes.
As well as following strict distancing and hygiene rules, they will have to leave their contact details so they can be traced in the event of an outbreak.
Pubs and restaurants should be able to welcome customers indoors from 15 July.
Ms Sturgeon urged people to “operate and comply” with rules as some hospitality businesses are allowed to reopen from now.
The First Minister said today’s reopening marked a “significant step” as lockdown measures ease in the country.