The first international travellers to go into one of Scotland’s quarantine hotels have been able to leave after just one day because of a loophole, say reports.
Since Monday, all passengers arriving in Scotland on international flights have to enter “managed isolation” in designated hotels.
Initially this applied to those coming from within the Common Travel Area, including England and Ireland.
But now the Scottish government says on the gov.scot website: “If you are travelling from outside of the Common Travel Area, and you do not qualify under an exemption, you will be required to quarantine in managed isolation for 10 days on arrival in Scotland.”
The Independent reported: “The new hotel quarantine scheme has descended into farce in Scotland after the first people to stay in ‘managed isolation’ were sent home.”
It highlighted the case of Chun Wong and his daughter Keirnan who flew from the US via Dublin to Edinburgh airport.
They were taken to a quarantine hotel, where they were told to remain for 11 nights.
On the first night, officials told the family there had been an error and that he and his daughter could return to their home in Fife. The £2,400 they spent will be repaid, say reports.
The Independent said that the one international flight on Monday to Edinburgh arriving direct from outside the Common Travel Area was almost empty.
The plane from Istanbul had three passengers rather than the 60 who were originally booked.
“Reports suggest that the other travellers switched to a Turkish Airlines flight to Manchester in order to avoid hotel quarantine,” said the Independent.
“In other words, Scotland has adopted the same policy as England except for directed international arrivals: only red list (or “acute red list”) passengers need to stay in a hotel for 11 nights.”
The newspaper added: “Travel industry sources in Scotland expressed despair that hotel quarantine will apply only to direct international arrivals – effectively incentivising all travellers to route themselves via England or Ireland.”
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