Scotland

Coronavirus: Should I be going on holiday?

Beach in Catalonia Image copyright EPA

Many people in Scotland who would normally be travelling abroad over the summer have been faced with a difficult question.

The Scottish government's approval of an "air bridge" approach means that people can travel to 57 countries without having to quarantine upon their return.

But precautionary measures against the coronavirus are very much in force with the lockdown not yet in its final phase.

So is flying off on holiday the right thing to do?

'We were stuck for months - we won't go back this summer'

Beth Robinson and her husband travelled to Milan at the beginning of March to visit her Italian in-laws.

The Glasgow-based couple had intended to stay for two weeks, but found themselves a short drive from one of the worst hit regions in Europe.

Strict lockdown measures in Italy meant their stay was extended to four months.

Image copyright Beth Robinson
Image caption Beth and her husband lived under lockdown in Italy for four months

Fortunately the two were able to continue staying with family, had brought laptops and were able to work remotely.

"It was crazy - Italy was in major lockdown until 18 May and we spent it in an apartment with my in-laws," said Beth.

"It was good though, we played cards and I caught up on a lot of reading. My husband works in IT and when we left he took a computer 'just in case' - thank god he did."

Beth, originally from Florida, said the couple were spoiled with freshly cooked Italian food and thoroughly enjoyed the extra time with family - but were glad to return home to Glasgow on 4 July.

They had originally planned to return to Italy on 8 July - but after their experience decided against it.

"We had to get back into our lives and get things moving," said Beth. "It was really sad in Italy seeing so many family businesses shuttered up.

"I felt safer knowing going back to Scotland. It's also nicer that things are going a bit slower here than in England.

"I saw how intense it was in Italy and it made me feel glad knowing people were taking precautions."

'We haven't seen our dad since January'

Sisters Hannah and Ailsa McAleavey from Edinburgh are flying to Malmo in Sweden to visit their father - who they have not seen in about seven months.

Because Sweden is not on Scotland's air bridges list they will have to quarantine for two weeks when they come back, as things stand.

Image caption Hannah and Ailsa McAleavey say quarantining is worth it for family

"We don't have to quarantine when we get there and I think they're not nearly as restricted as here," said Hannah. "It's been basically normal for my dad.

"We'll quarantine for two weeks when we come back, I think there's going to be a review so we'll see what they say then.

"I feel fine about it, for us it's worth it seeing our dad but if it was just for a holiday I'm not sure."

Ailsa added: "I'm so excited to see my dad, it's just been too long. Even though it's not ideal doing all this it's definitely worth it."

'We wanted some sun - quarantine is worth it'

Luke Jamieson and Ryan Stewart are both furloughed car mechanics from Aberdeen.

Both have been isolated during the lockdown and said they were getting "fed up" - so booked a last minute trip to Tenerife from Edinburgh, despite the prospect of having to go into quarantine on their return.

Image caption Luke and Ryan say some time in the sun is worth having to quarantine

Speaking about the prospect of quarantining, Luke said: "I'm not overly happy about it but needs must with safety precautions going on.

"We have to, otherwise we're putting other people at risk. We're just getting a bit fed up, it's a risk we're willing to take to go get some sun."

"I spent the last 12 weeks in quarantine in the house so quarantine is not really a big thing," Ryan added.

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