NICOLA Sturgeon has warned people in England not to travel to Scotland to exercise as the coronavirus lockdown is eased south of the border.

The First Minister said it was “not okay” for people to think they could visit beauty spots in Scotland in the same way can in England from Wednesday.

She said: “If you are in Scotland, the law of Scotland applies and the law states right now you can only be outside of your house right now for essential reasons.”

However she did not think there would need to be a greater police presence along the border to deter tourists.

The warning came as the UK Government issued updated advice on exiting the lockdown in England while tighter measures remain in place in Scotland.

The 60-page “Covid-19 recovery strategy” replaces the “stay at home” message with “stay alert”, with people in England expected to rely more on common sense to avoid the virus.

It says people “may drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance”, so long as they respect social distancing guidance with strangers.

It adds: “It is important that people respect the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and do not travel to different parts of the UK where it would be inconsistent with guidance or regulations issued by the relevant devolved administration.”

However there are fears the second part of the message may be overlooked.

Officials in Wales today warned people not to drive from England to visit beauty spots.

At the Scottish Government’s daily briefing, Ms Sturgeon was asked if she was concerned about the knock-on effect of the rules changing and whether it would mean more a greater police presence at the Scotland-England border.

She said: “That would be an operational matter for the Chief Constable, but I don’t think there is any plan or considered need for increased policing at the Scottish border.

“The Chief Constable said [on Friday] he didn’t think there any fundamental issue with policing, and he used the example of differences in the law already.

“If you’re driving across the England-Scottish border you’ve got a different drink drive limit when you cross into Scotland. So police are used to policing in that way.

“It is not okay to drive into Scotland to beauty spots to go and visit places and to do leisure activities, because that is not yet permitted in Scotland.

“You can exercise as often as you like every day, but you have to stay within the vicinity of your own home.

“I guess if you’re living right on the Scotland-England border you can come into Scotland for your daily exercise, but driving places to beauty spots is not allowed in Scotland.

“That is now allowed for people living in Scotland, and it is not at this stage allowed for people coming into Scotland either.”