THE PASSENGERS of a flight that arrived in Scotland carrying a new strain of coronavirus are being urged to call contact tracers.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman had previously said that all those on board the BA1312 flight from Heathrow to Aberdeen on January 29 would be contacted - and said there was "no reason" to believe the variant was circulating in Scotland.

However, although she stresses that work to reach all passengers is continuing, Ms Freeman said correct details were not available for all travellers and they should therefore endeavour to come forward themselves.

The Health Secretary appealed for anyone who was on the flight to contact the NHS National Contact Tracing Centre.

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She said: “Because not all the data we have received about the passengers is correct, we are asking anyone on that flight who did not provide up-to-date contact details should call the NHS National Contact Tracing Centre on 0800 030 8012.”

Ms Freeman added that this new P1 variant of coronavirus, first detected in the Brazilian city of Manaus, was “of concern in terms of both the possibility that it is more contagious than the current dominant Covid-19 strain in Scotland, and how it responds to the current vaccines”.

Expert work on both these issues is continuing, she said.

Her comments came after it emerged on Sunday that there were six cases in the UK of the new strain: three in England and three in Scotland.

The three Scottish cases were found in asymptomatic passengers, who tested positive while self-isolating.

Ms Freeman said: “Contact tracing has been undertaken, close contacts followed up and offered testing as usual and, as an additional precautionary step, the close contacts of these close contacts have been identified and followed up.”

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She added: “This additional step is being taken to ensure that all possible precautions are underway.”

And while Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted that the UK has “one of the toughest border regimes anywhere in the world”, Ms Freeman insisted stricter measures could be introduced.

Scotland requires all people arriving from overseas to spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel – but travellers arriving in England only have to do this if they arrive from one of the UK Government’s “red list” countries.

Green Holyrood co-leader Alison Johnstone raised the issue with Ms Freeman, saying that the “current border restrictions cannot adequately protect people in Scotland from this concerning strain of Covid-19”.