By Damon Mitchell • 16 July 2020 • 18:43
A STEADY rise in the demand for foreign holidays this summer has been reported by travel agents across Scotland after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon removed quarantine restrictions on a list of countries last week.
Those with destinations on said list will be lucky enough not to require a quarantine period upon returning to Scotland. Unfortunately for many, Spain has been left off the list, leaving holidaymakers hoping that the most popular foreign destination for Scots, may still get clearance from the Scottish Government.
Sturgeon announced that she hopes to add all, or part of, the country to those exempt from quarantine restrictions.
At this moment in time, the presence of COVID in Spain is ten times greater than the Scottish rate, quashing any hopes of sunn worshippers on UK soil as well as the around 200,000 Spanish visitors every year.
However, the current estimate for Scotland is that for every 100,000 in the population, 28 of that number have COVID. That does bring Sturgeon’s aim to eliminate the virus into sight.
The hard decision as to which countries were to be included in the exemption list is based on the state of the virus in each country, as well as an assessment of different factors like the new cases figures and outbreaks.
Sturgeon said that “Once that work has been completed – which I hope is within days – we hope to be able to make more targeted assessments in future, taking greater account of how different countries are managing to control the virus.”
She went on to point out that, “I hope that we will be able to add Spain – and possibly Serbia – to the exemption list, either in full or perhaps in part at the next review point which is on July 20,” said Sturgeon.
“To that end, we will be liaising closely in the coming week with the relevant authorities as well as with airports and airlines, to gather more information on control of outbreaks and prevalence.”
Any Scots looking to attempt at bending the rules and returning from Spain by flying into an English airport should take note that it won’t work, Sturgeon added. Those arriving in the UK are asked to complete a form before arrival which is shared by Public Health Scotland and Border Force.
President of Barrhead Travel, Jacqueline Dobson, said the exclusion of Spain was worrying as “Spanish resorts are overwhelmingly the most popular destinations for Scottish travellers and that demand is reflected in the air routes out of Scotland.’
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From the interviewed to the interviewer
As frontman of a rock band Damon used to court the British press, now he lives the quiet life in Spain and seeks to get to the heart of the community, scoring exclusive interviews with ex-pats about their successes and struggles during their new life in the sun.
Originally from Scotland but based on the coast for the last three years, Damon strives to bring the most heartfelt news stories from the spanish costas to the Euro Weekly News.
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