LONDON-based news reports are partly to blame for confusion about lockdown measures in devolved nations differing to that of England, new research has found.

A Cardiff University study revealed that some English newspapers with UK-wide audiences still fail to underline the ways in which Scottish and Welsh lockdown measures differ from those imposed by Boris Johnson.

The lockdown rules have been relaxed in England so people can now “drive to other destinations” and meet one person outside their households outdoors.

But police in Wales have stopped English people who were unaware of the rules from travelling into the country and police issued almost 800 dispersal notices in Scotland on Saturday for lockdown breaches.

READ MORE: WATCH: Police stop English family who don't know what devolution is

Nicola Sturgeon told Monday's coronavirus briefing that some of the lockdown guidance could be enshrined in law if the breaches continue.

The study, published by the London School of Economics, found this was due to the reporting of London-based news outlets.

Led by journalism professor Stephen Cushion, the team asked a panel of 200 people on their perception and knowledge of news related to Covid-19.

They found half of this group mistakenly believed the Westminster Government was in charge of lockdown across the UK.

They said: “Many people remain confused by what social distancing measures they should be following in different parts of the UK.

“While we found TV news bulletins accurately communicated the distinction between England and the other nations, many newspapers prominently made reference to the UK or England-only, or did not specify the geographical relevance of the lockdown measures.”

Cushion, who is an expert in devolution, told The Herald: “Despite more than 20 years of devolution, many people across the UK remain confused about the different powers political bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland hold.

“News media in each nation helps people understand these differences, but many people across the four nations continue to watch, read or listen to UK network media or consume largely English-produced newspapers.”

He added: “Our research of UK-wide broadcast news since 2007 has shown coverage does not always clearly communicate that key areas of policy making, such as health and education, are devolved, and regularly explain different policy choices in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”