Scotland will retain its tougher quarantine restrictions even if a UK-wide deal cannot be reached, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The Scottish Government this week unveiled plans that will see every person arriving from overseas at Scottish airports quarantine for 10 days in a hotel.
But the UK Government has said only travellers to England from “red list” countries will have to do so.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously said these measures do not go far enough, and discussions are ongoing with UK ministers to urge them to tighten rules.
However, she said the outcome of that lobbying will have no effect on Scotland’s rules.
Ms Sturgeon told the regular coronavirus briefing on Thursday: “We won’t scale back our own plans.
“If we can’t persuade the UK Government to introduce similar plans, it’s entirely their prerogative to make these decisions, I’m not being critical here. We just have a difference of opinion on this which is fair enough.
“If we can’t persuade them to emulate us then we’ll continue to do what we plan to do, it will just be we have more of a back door vulnerability, and more of one than we would like to have.”
The plans as they stand, which are due to come into force on Monday, mean a traveller could fly to England before then driving across the border to Scotland, potentially avoiding the need to quarantine in a hotel.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said those from red list nations arriving in England will need to quarantine in a hotel, while other travellers should isolate at home.
The First Minister also said Police Scotland could be asked to “do more than what they are doing right now” at the border.
She said: “There may be a combination of things we have to do.
“Agreements with the UK Government, and also asking the police to do more than what they are doing right now in terms of the checks coming into the country.
“That is still under discussion.”
Later in the briefing, the First Minister said she could not go into further detail about what police may be asked to do because final decisions are yet to be made and operational matters are an issue for Police Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon went on to describe herself as an “internationalist”, adding: “But this is a public health crisis and one of the biggest threats we face as we get the virus under control domestically, as we vaccinate against it, are new variants.
“That’s why we need to be really careful about this.”
The National Union of Students has urged the Scottish Government to make those from abroad who are studying in Scotland exempt from the quarantine fee, with president Matt Crilly saying students cannot afford the £1,750 charge required for hotel isolation.
When asked about the plea, Ms Sturgeon said: “I understand why any group would want to be exempt from these regulations, but the more exemptions we have the less effect these rules have.
“We are trying to stop variants of the virus and the virus generally coming into the country, so we need to make that as tight as possible.
Ms Sturgeon said there would be a hardship fund set up for those who cannot afford the fee, but she stressed only a “very, very small” number of people should be travelling to Scotland.