Coronavirus: Scots warned to avoid Easter holiday travel

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image captionA man walks through Fort William after a warning for people to stay away from the Highlands

Scots are being warned to avoid travelling around the country during the Easter holidays.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said anyone who had booked a holiday cottage or caravan or was planning to visit any area of the country should "stay put".

It comes amid reports that people have been heading to remote areas including the Highlands to self-isolate from the coronavirus.

Scotland has 416 known cases of the virus and 10 patients have died.

Speaking on the BBC's Sunday Politics programme, Ms Hyslop said: "People should stay put.

"They should stay home and they should stay safe.

"That's why the economic measures that have been put in place is to make sure that those businesses that are anticipating those visitors in the future can survive over this period."

'Being selfish'

On Saturday the Nevis Range Centre in Fort William said they had been forced to turn away about 30 campervans that had had travelled from various parts of the UK, and were intending to use their car park as a refuge.

It comes as stringent social distancing and self-isolation advice was issued by both the UK and Scottish governments.

When asked about people who had travelled to the Highlands in campervans in recent days, Ms Hyslop added: "They're putting themselves at risk, they're putting others at risk.

"If they get ill there they will compromise the health or others that are living in the Highlands and Islands."

image captionFiona Hyslop said people should stay at home

She added that emergency legislation being brought in by Westminster would give both the UK and Scottish governments "specific powers" to help with this.

But she stressed: "We're appealing to people to use their common sense for their safety, the safety of their family and indeed of the vital communities."

Similarly, Scotland Office Minister Douglas Ross said the UK and Scottish governments had both been "very clear" in issuing the message to people:

He said: "We need to take stark measures over the next few weeks and potentially months to suppress this virus spreading any further to ensure that out hospitals and other facilities can work at the capacity they have."

He added that people should be able to enjoy Scotland and places such as Moray after the measures had been relaxed, but he said: "Do it in a safe way, when we can all enjoy it together rather than be selfish and coming up here thinking you can self-isolate because these are more remote parts of the United Kingdom."