Margaret Ferrier: Covid rules the MP broke carry potential fines


The former SNP MP Margaret Ferrier is under pressure to resign from her Rutherglen and Hamilton West seat after she reportedly broke a series of coronavirus regulations. These are the dates of the potential breaches and the penalties.

Saturday 26 September Ferrier took a coronavirus test after experiencing symptoms. A person experiencing Covid symptoms, however mild, in Scotland must self-isolate for at least 10 days and book a test. But instead she travelled to London the next day. In Scotland, anyone breaking these rules can be fined £480.

Sunday 27 September Ferrier travelled to London by train. Transport Scotland guidance is that you should stay at home if you or anyone in your household is experiencing coronavirus symptoms or is self-isolating.

Monday 28 September Ferrier was in London when she received her positive test, and it is a legal requirement in England to inform your employer if you are told to self-isolate. The SNP says that Ferrier told the party about her positive test only on Wednesday.

Tuesday 29 September Ferrier returned to Scotland, again by train. Again, the guidance from the Department of Transport is that you should not use public transport if you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms. It is a criminal offence to leave self-isolation in England without a reasonable excuse – anyone who does not isolate after a positive result can be fined up to £10,000 – but this law only came into force on Monday, so it is unclear whether it applies retrospectively, to those who took a test before then, as Ferrier did.

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