Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed plans to introduce hotel quarantine for all direct arrivals to Scotland, saying that Covid had been “re-seeded from overseas travel” after initially being suppressed last year.
In a statement to the Scottish parliament, Sturgeon said she believed managed quarantine should go further than the rules implemented by the UK government, adding that more detail would be provided “as soon as possible”.
She said: “The firm view of the Scottish government is that in order to minimise the risk of new strains coming into the country, managed quarantine must be much more comprehensive.
“I can therefore confirm today that we intend to introduce a managed quarantine requirement for anyone who arrives directly into Scotland, regardless of which country they have come from.”
Sturgeon said the Scottish government would continue to urge its UK counterpart to adopt a similar approach, echoing calls made by the Labour party on Monday.
She added: “If they do not wish to do so, as is entirely their prerogative, we will ask them to work with us to reduce the risk to people travelling to Scotland via ports elsewhere in the UK.”
Mike Tibbert, vice president of the SPAA, said in response to the statement: “Measures which protect public health are vital and the SPAA has always supported a stance which guard our borders, particularly against newly identified strains. We understand that there must be restrictions in the short and medium term until the vaccination programmes across the world give more confidence about travel.
“However, today’s first minister announcement that anyone arriving directly into Scotland, regardless of which country they have come from, will have to enter managed quarantine is virtually a moot point as this directive relates to a very small prospective amount of inbound travellers who already would have to provide a negative certificate and self -isolate upon arrival regardless.”
He added: “What the SPAA has been asking for, since the early days of the pandemic, is a clear roadmap out of what is realistically a terminal situation for the Scottish travel sector. Scotland urgently needs a plan for how our country will return to travel, and targeted financial support for the whole sector.
“It’s not enough to assume that what we stop now can, or will, resume automatically when we want it to. Routes are a valuable and vital ‘commodity’. Many of the destinations accessible directly from Scotland have been hard-won routes. Our country needs its connectivity more than ever, as this is how our economy will recover from this pandemic as our businesses trade internationally.”
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