25.06.2021

Englands infection rate is now five times greater than Scotlands, latest data reveals

But while Scotland’s rate of new Covid-19 cases has fallen consistently below two per million since late June, England’s is yet to drop below seven per million.

The latest figures, taken from Public Health England and Public Health Scotland, come after Nicola Sturgeon said she would “not shy away” from imposing quarantine restrictions on visitors from England.

Scotland’s more rapidly declining number of new daily coronavirus cases means that the difference between the two nation’s infection rates has grown wider.

Since mid May, England’s infection rate compared to Scotland’s rose from around 1.4-times greater, to more than 7-times greater by mid July. It currently stands at around 5.5-times greater.

The coronavirus infection rate in England is five-times greater than that of Scotland’s, the latest data has revealed.

Since mid-May, both countries have seen new daily coronavirus cases reduce significantly, though Scotland’s handling of the virus appears to have been far more effective.

At their peak, both nations recorded a similar amount of new cases per day, with England recording around 73 new cases per million people compared to Scotland’s 63 infections per million people.

The disparity between England and Scotland’s infection rates was highlighted in a recent report by the Independent Sage group, which attributed it to the differing containment strategies of each nation.

“In Scotland we’ve seen such a clear strategy, clearly articulated, elimination is the aim and all objectives are geared towards driving things as low as possible,” Professor Stephen Reicher told a briefing last week.

“In England, the UK government hasn’t been clear about the strategy, we don’t see any particular strategy, some people talk about herd immunity by default, but nothing has been articulated at all.

“Instead we see a series of ad hoc openings, we see a series of ad hoc relaxations before we have an adequate test and trace system, so I think it’s better to characterise it as drift rather than a precise strategy.”

MS Sturgeon’s comments this week about potential quarantine measure for people travelling north of the border stoked speculation of controls between England and Scotland.

“These are not decisions I will take lightly but they’re equally not decisions I will shy away from,” the first minister said.

“We need to be sure that any outbreaks in England have been properly managed, just as England will want to be sure any outbreaks in Scotland are being properly managed.”

Her comments prompted Michael Gove, the cabinet office minister to say that he did not think “erecting a hard border… is in any way a good thing.”

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