SCOTLAND'S Deputy First Minister has rejected calls to compensate individuals and businesses affected by the Manchester travel ban.

John Swinney said the restriction on non-essential travel was justified by rising coronavirus cases in the Greater Manchester and Salford areas.

It comes after Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham accused the Scottish Government of treating the north of England with "contempt".

He said he would write to Nicola Sturgeon to demand compensation for those affected by a travel ban between Scotland and Manchester and Salford.  

Nicola Sturgeon announced on Friday that all non-essential travel to the areas would be banned from today.

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Mr Swinney was asked about the decision when he appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

He said: "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."

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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."

Appearing on the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Swinney was asked about Mr Burnham's compensation call. 

He said: “I don’t think that’s appropriate. What we all have to do is put in place the arrangements to support businesses within our own areas to try to help them through the challenges that they face in a pandemic that is affecting us all."

Mr Burnham previously said his administration was not contacted before the announcement and accused the Scottish Government of "double standards" and "hypocrisy".