THE leader of Bolton Council has called on the Government for support in his demand for an end to the Scottish travel ban ­— as it emerged an elderly couple from Bolton who had not seen their grandchildren for two years had to cancel their visit to Scotland.

Cllr David Greenhalgh met with MP Michael Gove urging the cabinet officer minister to lobby Nicola Sturgoen, Scotland's First Minister in a bid to overturn the controversial travel restrictions imposed on people travelling to and from Scotland from Bolton.

He met with Mr Gove yesterday, just a day after it was revealed a couple, both double-jabbed, had to cancel their visit to a holiday cottage across the border and have been left £2,000 out of pocket.

Cllr Greenhalgh is hoping Mr Gove can persuade Ms Sturgeon to reverse the non-essential travel ban, which on Friday was extended to include Manchester and Salford, during his meeting of leaders of devolved parliaments.

He said: " It was a productive meeting. Michael Gove was extremely responsive and said it would be addressed in his next imminent meeting with Nicola Sturgeon.

" The ban was, I believe, disproportionate but we are now in the position that from a peak of 460, our cases are now in the 250s per 100,000 and less than some areas within Scotland and many areas within the UK that have had no travel ban imposed. This is now discriminatory against Bolton people and needs to be reversed.”

Cllr Greenhalgh added:“The emphasis now must be to work to have Bolton taken off that list, and I have been assured Michael Gove will put that to the First Minister directly. We have sent a letter directly to Nicola Sturgeon, but I believe this personal direct approach from Michael Gove, while unable to guarantee success, is the best chance we have at the moment.”

The covid travel ban led to a war of words between Ms Sturgeon and Metro Mayor Andy Burnham

The Greater Manchester mayor said he felt people in his region had been “insulted” by the First Minister’s approach and a lack of consultation.

The Covid Recovery Secretary, John Swinney, said they would not acquiesce to Mr Burnham’s demands for compensation as a result of the travel ban.

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