‘Police will have the power to arrest people flouting the Government’s coronavirus guidance and force them into isolation, Scotland’s Justice Secretary has announced.
Defying the measures introduced in response to the Covid-19 outbreak will be a criminal offence, with officers able to detain culprits to protect public health.
Humza Yousaf also revealed inmates could be released if the prison system is overwhelmed by coronavirus.
He told MSPs the “unprecedented” arrest powers can be invoked against individuals, events and public gatherings when there is a “serious and imminent threat to public health”.
Those found breaching public health regulations will face a fine or “other enforcement action”, Mr Yousaf said.
Explaining the new powers set out in the UK Government’s emergency Coronavirus Bill, expected to come into force by the end of the month, Mr Yousaf said: “This includes powers allowing the police in Scotland to support and enforce public health measures, including powers to detain people and put them in appropriate isolation facilities if necessary to protect public health.’