THERE is no point in just publishing guidance on travel restrictions as it is not legally enforceable. Anyone wishing to ignore it and spread the virus can do so at their will without fear of prosecution. Surely governments can pass emergency powers quickly, with due debate and subsequent vote, in their respective parliaments?

Spot checks should be done and the results published to highlight the success, or failure, of current guidance to allow a rethink on the policy. As an aside, financial penalties may have the desired effect in many instances of other Covid guidance non-compliance, however with travel restrictions by private car I am sure that licence penalty points would be a more powerful deterrent. I do realise that there would be a problem there, though, as that would require a policy change at UK Government level.

George Dale, Beith.

GAVIN R Tait (Letters, November 5) starts with reasonable questions about Covid testing by NHS Ayrshire and Arran, and ends with an undisguised rant against the Scottish Government.

Along the way he poses a couple of interesting questions; perhaps I can help him with them. First, he asks: why can Slovakia manage to test 3.5 million people over a weekend while we in Scotland struggle to test a few thousand? Slovakia is an independent country with almost exactly the same population as Scotland, but it does not need to go cap in hand to another administration to access the funds for such an operation.

Secondly, he suggests that the Golden Jubilee National Hospital should somehow be placed into isolation from the world, while still continuing as an elective surgery centre. What? Even someone like me with no medical training can see that that would be completely impossible, short of transporting the Golden Jubilee to the moon.

John Jamieson, Ayr.

THE Health Secretary has written to her counterparts in the UK administrations about the possibility of a four-nation public inquiry into care home deaths.

MSPs voted for an urgent inquiry in Scotland on Wednesday ("Delaying care home inquiry may risk lives, Government is warned", The Herald, November 5) so it looks like Nicola Sturgeon wants to delay this by the backdoor with her request for a four nations inquiry.

It was Scottish NHS hospitals which discharged Covid-19 positive patients to Scottish care homes, some of whom were Covid- positive. It was also the Scottish Covid-19 website which lauded the Scottish NHS performance in reducing the number of delayed discharge patients in Scottish hospitals. Let us remember that in March Scottish Government adviser Professor June Andrews advised a Holyrood committee that the oncoming Covid-19 pandemic would be "useful" in reducing the number of delayed discharge beds in Scottish hospitals.

Neil Sinclair, Edinburgh EH3.

WHETHER or not we join England in its month-long lockdown, surely the crucial lesson we both have to learn is the importance of doing isolation properly? The ostensible reason for the lockdown is to get the spread of the virus down to a level at which Test and Protect can work effectively. The statistics we get bundle together numbers from different types of test, as if merely increasing the numbers would do everything. But how effective is the follow-up trace of contacts, and how helpful are the famous apps in doing this? We surely have to learn how to do this better in this period.

More importantly, we need to persuade people to do isolation properly as they do successfully in South Korea and Taiwan. It was suggested in your columns that only 20 per cent of infected people are isolating fully. Would it not be better to ask such people to isolate properly for seven days, with a test on the seventh day to allow them to be free? If they are also paid 80% of normal wage at the end of this period as a reward, then surely we would get much better compliance?

Professor Peter Gray, Aberdeen AB15.

ACCORDING to Bill Stewart (Letters, November 10) "coronavirus spreads by social interaction .. it is not possible to ensure that any environment, especially indoors, is Covid-safe" If hospitality is unsafe, with all the mitigations they have put in place, where does this leave school; with no precautions worthy of the name?

J Kerr, Glasgow G40.