A mother with cancer will be allowed to go on a “final holiday” with her children despite Scotland’s travel ban, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The First Minister confirmed 38-year-old Linzi Page, who has stage four cancer, will be exempt from the restrictions preventing people from travelling between Level 3 and 4 areas.
At First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard asked about Ms Page’s plan to fly from Edinburgh to Tenerife with her seven-year-old son and four-year-old daughter.
Mr Leonard said the family feared the new travel restrictions would make it illegal for them to leave their local authority area to get to the airport.
Asking what the First Minister’s advice would be, Mr Leonard said: “I spoke to Lindsay this morning.
“She told me that the family have had a tough year and that this holiday would be ‘a nice memory for us’.
“She said it is a precious time with the family which we will never get back.”
In response, Ms Sturgeon revealed she has contacted Ms Page to tell her travel for “compassionate reasons which relate to the end of a person’s life” is exempt and the family is allowed to go on holiday.
“Under the regulations, anyone in a situation like hers can go on a final holiday,” she said, explaining how the law sets out some “reasonable” excuses and exemptions.
Ms Sturgeon added: “Linzi’s situation is tragic but on both compassionate and indeed on legal grounds, she can go on her holiday and I wish her and her family well.”
Mr Leonard said it will be “greatly welcomed and the compassion that lies behind it is something which I’m sure that we all approve of”.
But he warned the travel restrictions are a “red herring” that could either confuse or criminalise Scots.
Calling for the Scottish Government to “rethink the travel ban and its application”, Mr Leonard said the focus should be on resolving issues with Scotland’s Test and Protect system, routine testing for frontline workers and ensuring medics have the proper personal protective equipment.
Ms Sturgeon replied: “In a situation like this, it is absolutely incumbent on somebody like me to do my level best to do the right things and the necessary things, even if these are not always popular or welcome things.
“I would be failing in my responsibility if I didn’t do that on travel restrictions.”