Hundreds of thousands of Scottish holidaymakers will have to quarantine for two weeks if they want to travel between Scotland and Spain.
Their hopes were dashed after Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announced that she would not be following England and allow quarantine free travel between the two countries.
The UK government published a list of 59 countries which they have now categorised as “reduced-risk” from the Coronavirus, all of which would no longer require travellers to quarantine on their return.
The countries include most European destinations, Caribbean islands and other countries further east including Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.
Scotlands Ministers approved the list, however, Spain and Serbia were omitted due to the concerns about the recent spike in COVID-19 infections.
Nicola Sturgeon insisted that she was not prepared to permit unrestricted travel with Spain, where the COVID infection rate is ten times higher than that of Scotland. Spain’s current infection rate is 330 per 100,000 people and twice the rate of the UK as a whole.
Sturgeon said that the decision was “very difficult” to make, but was necessary to “protect Scotland as far as possible from a resurgence of this virus in the weeks ahead”.
She also warned those looking to work around the ban by travelling from English airports insisting that the rules “are here for a reason”.
The measures mean that Scotland will provide air corridors with 57 countries on the list, however, anyone returning to Scotland from Spain and its islands or Serbia, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Many have claimed that it will deny key-workers the opportunity of a short break away as most will not be able to take the extra leave to cover the quarantine period.
The quarantine rules will also apply to those wishing to travel to and from English airports with spot-checks conducted on those who are supposed to be in quarantine. Fines may also be issued to those who flout the new rules.
The First Minister said that the measures were “the best balance we can arrive at”, and said she hoped the situation could be changed in the near future.
January 14, 2021