HEALTH SCRETARY Jeane Freeman has insisted travel bans are “in the mix” of options being considered by officials to stop the spread of Covi-19.

Ms Freeman rubbished suggestions that guidance in the Central Belt for people to stay within their own health board area should not be further restricted to local authority area because she is “not convinced” people know where local authority boundaries are.

Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland, Ms Freeman confirmed that travel restrictions are bieng actively considered.

She said: “Travel restrictions is always in the mix and will continue to be in the mix. “At the end of the day, what we are looking for is a balance of measures which can help us restrict and stop the transmission.

The most important defence against transmission is what all of us do – that is following those restrictions and making sure that we are wearing face coverings.”

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She added: “We do all know that one of the risks that we face is the importation, if you like, from one part of the country to another – that includes Scotland as well.

“The First Minister has written to the Prime Minister, urging that we adopt a four-nation approach in terms of travel and travel restrictions.

“We hope that we can do that because, as we’ve always said and always tried to do, having a four-nation approach where we can makes more sense and is easier than for people to understand what it is we are asking them to do.”

Ms Freeman said that “there is an argument” for stopping people traveling outside council area rather than health board area – with people free to move between Glasgow and the neighbouring Inverclyde despite a gulf in the prevalence of the virus in both areas.

She said that officials have to “think about how easy it is for people to follow”.

She added: “I am not convinced that most people know where the Glasgow city boundary ends and the Inverclyde boundary starts.”

Asked whether people are aware of where health board boundaries are, Ms Freeman said: “Yes I do think people know that”.

She added: “We’ve demonstrated with maps what we’re talking about.

“We’re a relatively small country – people move around for business, for education, for employment – so we need to find the balance between what are the measures that make the most sense to reduce transmission and what are the measures that are the easiest for people to understand and follow because life is complex enough right at this minute. 

"We need to try and help people follow the guidance that we’re asking them to by making it as clear and straightforward as we possibly can.”