Scotland to keep 14-day quarantine for travellers from Spain

Sturgeon warns Scots not to bypass restriction by flying to or from airport in England

Fourteen-day quarantine restrictions for travellers from Spain will remain in force in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has announced, prompting calls for an urgent review from airline and tourist industry chiefs.

The first minister confirmed that Scotland would provide air corridors with 57 countries on the “reduced risk” lists agreed by the UK government. But while Scotland had approved all the countries rated green on the UK government’s traffic light system, she said she could not give air corridors to Spain or Serbia, countries on the amber list that have a higher prevalence of coronavirus than Scotland.

English holidaymakers will be able to travel to Spain without quarantining on their return when the new travel arrangements come into force from 10 July. The Welsh government has still to decide whether to follow England’s measures.

Sturgeon noted that, as reported by the joint biosecurity centre, the prevalence of the virus in Spain is around 330 people in every 100,000. “That means the rate reported for Spain, while less than twice the rate for the UK as a whole, is more than 10 times the estimated rate for Scotland,” she said.

She said she hoped to lift the exemption for Spain as soon as possible and would review the decision on 20 July.

Sturgeon said: “One of our biggest risk factors as we suppress the virus here is the importation of new cases to Scotland.” She told travellers they could not “get round the requirement to quarantine in Scotland by flying to or from an airport in England”.

“Public Health Scotland will have access to contact details for people staying in Scotland, regardless of whether an individual arrives in Glasgow, Manchester or London, and it will carry out sample checks,” she said.

The chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Marc Crothall, welcomed the further clarity, but said excluding Spain from the list of air bridges was “a blow to the aviation sector and our tourism industry”. He said that airlines having to abandon plans to restart Spanish routes could lead to mass redundancies.

Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, which owns Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, described Spain as a “glaring omission” and said he would be working to bring Scottish travel advice in line with that in England.

“We’ve requested a meeting with the Scottish government to discuss what further measures could be put in place that would allow the lifting of restrictions and prevent airlines from cancelling routes to what is one of Scotland’s most popular and important tourism destinations,” he said.


Libby Brooks Scotland correspondent

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
'I have to work': arrivals from Spain vent anger at quarantine decision
People arriving in Stansted tell of their surprise at having to now self-isolate for two weeks

Lanre Bakare

26, Jul, 2020 @6:31 PM

Article image
Why are travellers to the UK from Spain being asked to quarantine?
Britons currently on holiday there will have to self-isolate for 14 days on their return

Ian Sample and Sam Jones

28, Jul, 2020 @11:41 AM

Article image
UK may reimpose quarantine on travellers from Portugal
Portugal may be removed from safe list only two weeks after joining it

Matthew Weaver

03, Sep, 2020 @5:00 AM

Article image
Air travellers to Scotland to face quarantine spot checks and fines
Passengers subject to spot checks to ensure they self-quarantine for 14 days or £480 fine

Severin Carrell Scotland editor

06, Jul, 2020 @6:01 PM

Article image
Coronavirus: Raab defends 14-day quarantine for travellers from Spain
The foreign secretary said while the decision was disruptive for holidaymakers, the government could not risk a second lockdown

Jessica Elgot Deputy political editor

26, Jul, 2020 @10:11 AM

Article image
Scotland: hugs and indoor visits to be allowed from 17 May
Controls to be eased across most of country, but Covid hotspot of Moray ‘highly probable’ to remain at level 3

Libby Brooks Scotland correspondent

11, May, 2021 @3:17 PM

Article image
Scotland delays Covid vaccine passports after backlash from nightclubs
Businesses will get extra time to tackle practical challenges before legal action can be enforced

Severin Carrell Scotland editor

28, Sep, 2021 @4:30 PM

Article image
No 10 ignoring coronavirus advice, say Scotland and Wales
Devolved parliaments increasingly at odds with Boris Johnson over quarantine restrictions

Libby Brooks, Steven Morris and Peter Walker

04, Sep, 2020 @5:20 PM

Article image
Tearful reunions at UK airports as Covid quarantine rules ease
New regulations affect fully vaccinated people arriving from US and amber-list European countries

Kevin Rawlinson and agency

02, Aug, 2021 @2:15 PM

Article image
Battered travel industry urges UK to rethink Covid-19 quarantine policy
Tourism sector concerned at impact on holidaymakers as rise of cases in Europe puts more countries on list

Jamie Grierson Home affairs correspondent

09, Aug, 2020 @6:36 PM