LONDON (Reuters) -Scotland will toughen its coronavirus controls on international travellers but it also hopes to start relaxing its lockdown restrictions in early March, the head of the country's devolved government, Nicola Sturgeon, said on Tuesday.
Everyone arriving directly in Scotland from overseas will be required to quarantine, regardless of where they have come from, Sturgeon said.
"I can confirm today that we intend to introduce a managed quarantine requirement for anyone who arrives directly into Scotland, regardless of which country they have come from," she told the Scottish parliament.
Scotland will ask Britain's government to adopt a similar approach to minimise the risk of people with COVID-19 entering Scotland over the border with England and other parts of the United Kingdom.
Sturgeon also said she hoped there would be a gradual, phased return of children to schools in Scotland from Feb. 22 and a possible gradual lifting of lockdown requirements from early March.
"If our progress continues, then I am cautiously - and I stress cautiously - optimistic that as more and more people get vaccinated and with the protection of some of the additional measures ... we may be able to begin looking towards a careful and gradual easing around the start of March," she said.
(Reporting by William Schomberg and Estelle Shirbon, Editing by Paul Sandle and Costas Pitas)