Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she “wouldn’t go on a foreign holiday right now” when questioned about the decision add restrictions to travel to Spain.
Speaking during a coronavirus briefing in Scotland, she cautioned against overseas travel as she said was “increasingly concerned” about Covid-19 spreading across Europe after having seen “alarming data”.
Her statements echo the message given by Boris Johnson in response to similar questions today, and follow the introduction of Foreign Office advice against all but essential travel to Spain.
Spain was also stricken from the list of countries from where arrivals to the UK are exempt from quarantine on Saturday. It had been left off Scotland’s initial ‘safe list’ and was then added before Saturday’s update saw it removed again.
Sturgeon said: “We are seeing a worrying resurgence in Covid cases in several countries across Europe, for instance part of Spain and Belgium, and we’re seeing outbreaks in Germany and France.
“There are important lessons for us from that – the most immediate is that as the prevalence of Covid in Scotland continues to fall, we must guard against the risk of cases coming in from outside.”
The first minster said her government would re-impose quarantine restrictions “if countries see a sharp increase in cases”, warning people to be aware of this if they are thinking of booking trips abroad.
She added: “People planning overseas holidays need to be aware of that – you cannot assume that the rules that apply to your destination will remain the same while you are there, or will be the same when you come to travel home.
“My advice to you remains to be very cautious about non-essential foreign travel at this time, and if you are in a position to have a holiday the safest way of doing so is by staying here in Scotland.”
The travel industry has said government officials have not been sharing the data used to make the decisions, meaning changes came as a surprise – and Spain’s prime minister called the decision an “error”.
When asked to reveal the data, Sturgeon said it “is not ours to publish”, and should come from UK ministers in Westminster.
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