Coronavirus live news: Boris Johnson to hold crisis meeting as India joins countries banning flights from UK | World news

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Scotland will be taking part in UK government Cobra calls later this morning to address the “desperately serious situation” for the million of pounds worth of Scottish seafood currently stuck on lorries unable to cross the Channel.

Scotland’s deputy first minister, John Swinney, told BBC Radio Scotland: “One of the things we have feared has been a conjunction of different issues, of Brexit and of Covid coming together and unfortunately over the weekend and with the travel ban for freight into France that became a reality as a consequence of decisions that have been taken.”

The first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, will also chair a meeting of the Scottish resilience committee, to discuss freight disruption.

Swinney also said the Scottish government would press the UK government to extend the Brexit transition period, something Sturgeon also called for last night.

Swinney said this was “absolutely necessary” for Scottish producers. “ We face very acute threats as a country right now, they became more serious over the weekend because of the information on the spread of the virus, but coupled with the threats of Brexit, the first minister’s call is absolutely correct.”

Swinney emphasised there was very limited spread of the new variant in Scotland – still only 17 cases across the country – but that the Scottish government was monitoring the situation very closely.

He added that Scotland also has “substantially lower” rates than elsewhere in the UK: 115 cases per 100,000, compared with 467 per 100,000 in London.

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