Scotland

No decision on European holidays from Scotland

Spanish beach Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Restrictions on travel to some European destinations are to be lifted on 6 July, says the UK government

Scottish Ministers say they have not yet taken a decision on easing restrictions on holiday travel, despite an announcement from the UK government.

A UK government spokesman said blanket restrictions on travel to some European countries will be relaxed from 6 July.

The UK government has powers over border controls.

However, health protection issues on overseas travel must be supported by Scottish government regulations because health is a devolved matter.

Scottish Ministers said they needed to be satisfied arrangements to be put in place were "right for Scotland and properly supported by Scottish legislation".

The Scottish government said it had expected four-nation talks to be held before any announcement was made.

Under the UK government plans, holidaymakers are expected to be allowed to travel to certain European countries without having to spend 14 days in quarantine when they return.

A traffic light system will be operated - with countries classified as green, amber or red depending on virus cases.

They are thought to include Spain, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Turkey, Germany and Norway.

The full list of travel corridors with the UK will be published next week.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Scottish government said it had expected to be involved in talks on overseas travel

But the Scottish government said it had expected talks involving Wales and Northern Ireland and UK ministers first.

A spokesman said: "Scottish ministers have long argued for UK-wide public health measures relating to international travel as part of the wider response to this pandemic - to protect people and ensure that we limit the introduction of new chains of transmission of the virus when our own infection rates are falling.

"This is a matter for Scottish ministers - who have not yet taken a final decision."

He added: "The Scottish government had anticipated a four-nations ministerial discussion before the UK government's announcement, and it is disappointing that this has not yet taken place."

'Urgent decision'

A UK government spokesman said the new rules would give people "the opportunity for a summer holiday abroad" while also boosting the UK economy - but stressed the relaxation depended on risks staying low.

He added that the government "wouldn't hesitate to put on the brakes" on overseas travel if the situation changed.

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said it was "good news" people in Scotland could "look forward to a summer holiday in Europe".

He added: "But they now need an urgent decision from the Scottish government on whether they will be able to travel from Scottish airports, or have to fly from airports in other parts of the UK.

"Decisions on quarantine need to be taken without unnecessary delay by the Scottish government so people can plan their hard-earned holidays."

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