Holidaymakers have erupted in fury at Scotland’s First Minister after she banned travel from Manchester to Scotland causing many to lose hundreds of pounds in cancelled trips.
One holiday hopeful commented that it would have been easier to travel abroad to Spain – which is currently on the government’s amber list – after they lost £338 in cancelled train tickets.
He branded the SNP leader a ‘hypocrite’ for implementing the last-minute ban after allowing tens of thousands of Scotland football fans to go to Wembley over the weekend.
Scottish fans caused havoc in London as the Tartan Army were seen failing to social distance and clambering on historical statues in the capital’s Leicester Square.
His condemnation was echoed by many disappointed holidaymakers who have had trips cancelled as a result of the new restrictions.
One individual who had their holiday cancelled wrote: ‘Because of the new travel ban between Scotland and Manchester my holiday to Scotland has been cancelled.
‘Luckily the hotels will refund but the £338 train tickets can’t be, it’s possible I could get a travel voucher but that could take 28 days! Should’ve just booked to go to Spain.’
Andy Burnham (left) raged at Nicola Sturgeon (right) for banning travel from Manchester to Scotland without any consultation
The Greater Manchester Mayor also called the SNP leader a ‘hypocrite’ for making the announcement after allowing thousands of Scotland football fans to go to Wembley for the Euros (pictured, Tartan Army causing havoc in London)
Furious holidaymakers lashed out at the decision after it forced them to cancel their trips – with some losing hundreds of pounds as a result of the last-minute ban
Around 30,000 Scotland fans travelled across the border over the weekend (pictured)
Marek Bidwell added: ‘Gutted for the thousands of Manchester folk who won’t be able to go on longed-for holidays to Scotland this summer.
‘We’ve just booked a cottage near Oban for our 25th wedding anniversary later this year.’
He added: ‘We need to learn to live with this.’
But Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney defended the move and said their government had acted within the realms of what the public would expect from them.
He told the Today programme: ‘We have got to take decisions based on the data and the evidence that presents itself, and take decisions which are designed to stop the spread of the virus.
‘In our judgment, the rising case numbers and the high levels of the virus in the Greater Manchester and Salford area justified the decision we took and we are taking that to try and minimise the circulation of the virus.’
The Scottish First Minister announced on Friday that residents from Greater Manchester and Salford have been temporarily banned from travelling to Scotland and vice versa.
People from North Wales and other parts of England with higher Covid numbers were also included in the travel ban.
When questioned about the last-minute nature of the ban, he added: ‘That is something we will reflect on but we put in place very similar provisions in relation to Bolton, which is part of the Greater Manchester area, back in May, and we’ve just followed exactly the same approach in relation to this decision.’
The move prompted Greater Manchester mayor to demand compensation for holidaymakers and businesses affected by Sturgeon’s coronavirus travel restrictions.
The travel ban came despite crowds of Scots supporters failing to socially distance in London on Friday night (pictured)
The Scottish First Minister announced on Friday that residents from Greater Manchester and Salford have been temporarily banned from travelling to Scotland and vice versa
It prompted outrage online with many echoing the frustration of the Greater Manchester Mayor
One individual even accused Nicola Sturgeon of ‘double standards’ in an angry post online
Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney defended the move and said their government had acted within the realms of what the public would expect from them
But Mr Swinney slammed Mr Burnham’s call for compensation, saying it is not ‘a relevant point’.
‘We obviously face many challenges in the suppression of coronavirus,’ Mr Swinney told the BBC’s Today programme.
‘We have in place, in Scotland, business support that we have made available to companies to try and sustain them, there will be support in place in England for exactly the same circumstances.
‘We have got to take decisions based on the data that presents itself and sometimes that is very uncomfortable data for us.
‘We have to act quickly to try to make sure we are doing everything possible to suppress the spread of the virus, and that is what members of the public would expect of us.’
Mr Burnham’s outburst came after tens of thousands of Scotland football fans were allowed to go to Wembley for the Euros football match.
And he said the extraordinary scenes with crowds of Scots supporters failing to socially distance in London on Friday night showed Sturgeon’s ‘double standards’.
Around 30,000 Scotland fans travelled across the border over the weekend, with dozens being arrested.
Barrie Russ branded it ‘double standards’ in a scathing post on social media.
He wrote: ‘To Nicola Sturgeon, you have DOUBLE STANDARDS, allowing 120,000 Scots to invade London for a football match, then say people cannot travel from North Wales, Manchester and Norther (sic) England to Scotland, for a holiday.’
The brutal condemnation came after Mr Burham said there were ‘encouraging’ signs that the North West might be past the peak of the outbreak triggered by the Indian – or Delta – variant.
Mr Burnham said he was ‘really disappointed’ that Mrs Sturgeon had announced the restrictions on travel with Manchester and Salford on Friday ‘out of the blue’, on top of the existing curbs affecting Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen.
Asked about the scenes of fans ‘dancing’ in London he said: ‘I just think it is double standards, it is simple as that,’ he said. ‘It is hypocrisy.
‘I will be writing to the First Minister today. I will be asking for compensation for the individuals who might lose holidays and the businesses who might 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?
‘It is completely disproportionate in my view. We could have come up with a different arrangement if the First Minister had been in touch with us.’
He added: ‘The Scottish government cannot just impose things on parts of the North of England without any discussion with us. That is simply wrong.
‘They need to live by the same standards that they have always called for from others.’
Ms Sturgeon only urged travelling Scotland fans to ‘please, please, please try to behave in a way that is a safe as possible’ before the match on Friday night.
Pictures captured Leicester Square packed with Scotland fans jubilantly singing, chanting and letting off flares after the England v Scotland game ended in a 0-0 draw last night
But Leicester Square was packed with supporters jubilantly singing, chanting and letting off flares ahead of the game.
As many as 30,000 people are thought to have made the trip to London over the weekend.
Police arrested 26 people for offences including violence, drugs, weapons, racial aggravation, assault and drunk behaviour amid the wild celebrations, after Scotland clinched a 0-0 draw at Wembley.
Before the end of the match, police cleared fans out of the area and tried to seal off the five entrances, with the William Shakespeare statue having been scaled repeatedly.
Mr Burnham was asked if the North West might be ‘past the peak’ of the Delta variant.
He said: ‘I certainly see a huge amount of work going on in our communities to contain the Delta variant.
‘Look at Bolton – you can see real encouragement there. Where the work went in, the case numbers have been turned around and they’ve got now quite a significant decrease.
‘I’m very sure that we’ll see the same in the rest of Greater Manchester.
‘So, I think we are coming through this. I think we now need to be careful and proportionate in terms of the way we manage things going forward.’