Leading academic makes the case for a border to protect Scotland from coronavirus second wave in England

BBC Newsnight 22.6.20

Professor Bauld did not explicitly say that we should have a border but the evidence she offered made it seem necessary when you consider not just coronavirus but other potential epidemics spreading north. More on these below.

On BBC Newsnight, last night, from Professor Bauld after being asked:

England accelerating on the exit from lock-down. Can you support this?


Well, I think the public health community is very anxious. Even though we see fewer than a thousand cases today, the estimates from ONS are around 3 000. We still have far higher level of cases than other European countries and I thin, from a perspective of Somebody here in Scotland, our First Minister’s talking about eliminating the virus. But we can’t close our border with England so if things move too quickly in England, which many are arguing they are, then it puts the rest of us at risk.

So I understand, absolutely, the need to get the economy up and going but I think’s it’s…you know…we are in a very risky situation and things could go the wrong way in the coming weeks.

Professor Bauld did not state the Scottish infection rate, 7 day average, of only 19 new cases. Perhaps she did not want to seem to be showing-off. If we multiply that by 12 to get a UK-comparative figure, all things being equal, the UK rate should be around 240 new cases but they’re predicting 3 000, 12 times higher!

Do we then welcome tourists from England? Border checks seem essential if we are to push for elimination.

And it’s not just coronavirus.


The MMR immunisation rate in England has fallen for the fourth year in a row to only 87% with in some areas only 67% vaccinated. There have been 230 cases of measles in just the first three months of 2019. In Scotland the rate is 97% and has been so for 10 years. There have been 10 cases in Scotland, reported so far in 2019. All have been ‘imported’ from England or beyond.



From Health Protection Scotland on 13th December: The provisional total of laboratory reports for norovirus in Scotland up to the end of week 49 of 2019 (week ending 8 December 2019) is 798. In comparison, to the end of week 49 in 2018 HPS received 1367 laboratory reports of norovirus. The five-year average for the same time period between years 2013 and 2017 is 1385.

The NHS is calling on the public to heed advice and stay at home if they have norovirus to avoid passing it on, as hospitals in England have been forced to close more than 1,100 hospital beds over the last week.Top medics are concerned about the spread of the winter vomiting bug this year and the impact it is having on hospitals and other services. They are therefore urging those who catch the virus not to go back to work or school until at least 48 hours after symptoms pass, to avoid passing it on to others. The latest data from Public Health England (PHE) surveillance showed that the number of positive norovirus laboratory reports during the two weeks in the middle of November (11th-24th) was 28% higher than the average for the last five years. And almost double the number of hospital beds have been closed every day over the last week than at the same time last year, in a bid to stop the spread of diarrhoea and vomiting to more patients.



Eight NHS hospitals have been hit by the listeria outbreak which has killed five patients, the Health Secretary has revealed. Matt Hancock made the disclosures as he said he was keen to see the health service take NHS catering back in-house, in a bid to improve safety.


Evidence for a border from the past: Bubonic Plague:

‘The Great Plague of 1665-1667 did not reach Scotland. To a large extent, this was due to the preventive measures put into place by the Scottish government. The Privy Council passed a series of acts which forbid trade with countries affected by the plague, in particular England and the Netherlands. Even after the disease had dwindled there, further acts imposed a forty-day quarantine on goods imported from these places. Economically, such an interruption of trade was very disruptive, not least since England and the Netherlands were two of Scotland’s main trading partners.’


4 thoughts on “Leading academic makes the case for a border to protect Scotland from coronavirus second wave in England

  1. This needs the closest of attention, especially if people begin to travel north into Scotland in bigger numbers and soon.

    This is from the latest ONS data release: “In Week 24 (week ending 12 June 2020), …. Out of the English regions, the North West had the largest number of deaths involving COVID-19 (196 deaths), whereas the North East region had the highest proportion of deaths involving COVID-19, with 14.9% of all deaths involving COVID-19.“

    And also in the ONS report: “Figure 5: The number of deaths involving COVID-19 was highest in the North West for the sixth week.”

    Source: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending12june2020#main-points

    Looking for reports of the R number in different regions of England, I found this published on 19 June showing how little headroom there is to cope with any adverse effects of ‘over easing’.

    North West of England: the R number stands at between 0.7 and 1.0

    North East and Yorkshire: the R number stands at between 0.7 and 0.9.

    Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-r-number-in-the-uk#latest-r-number-and-growth-rate

    At 17 June, R in Scotland was estimated in Scottish Government reports to be between 0.6 & 0.8.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I have just for purpose of monitoring ONLY been watching The ABC ( A= Absurdistan ) BBC
    Reporting Scotland lead news item on School openings
    Never Ever have I witnessed such a absurd attempt in endeavouring to deflect away from the truth then present a distorted
    As you know i monitor UK.Gov data on new infections and deaths to demonstrate
    Clearly the ever growing divergence between Scotland & England since start of ease up of lock down to from 1.6.20 to23.6.20
    But this time I do not present the actual nos.but the % ratio / population
    Scotland = 9.8 % of England
    And England 81.8 % of UK
    ON 1.6.20
    New cases
    Scotland 7.1 % of England
    On 23.6.20 Scotland 5% of England
    But as prev.explained in older posts here
    England hiding new cases somehow
    So as England 81.8% of UK Pop.
    And UK has 29878 new cases
    But England only has 6858
    But if you apply 81.8 % ratio
    Then no.of new cases would be 24440 no.
    And Scotland,s ratio with England would be 1.36 % and NOT 5%
    Now for divergence in Deaths
    On 1.6.20
    Scotland 3.85 %
    Now 2.8 %
    So it is payently obvious to any responsible reporter or professional that
    Scotland has this virus Firmly under control and that is the ONE and only reason that the School policy has changed
    Especially so that it is obvious to any that Scotland has a fit for purpose Test Track Isolate system in full working order
    Whereas in England quite the opposite is true
    And how the hell did ABC report otherwise
    If i ever presented such to my UNI.proffesor during my student days
    She would went ballistic and put me on final warning One More Like That and I shall throw you off the course
    Border control is a matter of urgency no matter the constitution or consequencies

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yeah but . . . Your Prof. at Uni wanted work that did NOT mislead. The top brass at ABC want work that DOES mislead.


  3. At yesterday’s Covid-19 update the FM mentioned that as we travel into the different phases border’s will have to be looked at.


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