Scotland lifts quarantine measures for holidays to Spain

From later this week, Scots will no longer need to isolate for 14 days when returning from a Spanish holiday.

Scotland lifts quarantine measures for holidays to Spain Getty Images
Pandemic: Restrictions on holidays to Spain to be lifted.

The Scottish Government will lift quarantine measures for holidaymakers returning from Spain.

Scots will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days coming back from Spain or its surrounding islands after the policy was reviewed on Monday.

When Nicola Sturgeon announced the initial list of so-called “air bridge” countries earlier this month – meaning nations where quarantine-free travel is allowed – Spain was not included.

The change to include Spain – including both the mainland and popular island destinations like Majorca, Menorca and the Canary Islands – will be implemented later this week.

Scottish Government officials said the decision was arrived at after a “thorough” evaluation of the prevalence of Covid in the country.

They added the air bridges policy is kept under regular review and that quarantine measures could quickly be reinstated for travel from countries where virus cases rise.

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Following this latest review and having carefully considered the potential public health impact of changing the country exemptions for quarantine, we are able to lift that requirement for those travelling from Spain.

“We are continuously keeping other countries under review and where there is clear evidence that it is safe to do so, we will add further countries.

“Clearly the virus has not gone away. It is still active and it is still deadly.

“With the quarantine restrictions being lifted from these countries this means we have to be even more careful about what we are doing.”

He continued: “Anyone travelling should follow public health advice at all times including wearing face coverings, avoiding crowded places, washing hands and surfaces, staying two metres apart and self-isolating if they get symptoms and immediately registering for a test.”

A blanket quarantine policy for all international travel had been introduced in Scotland and the UK in June to try to avoid importing cases of coronavirus.

On July 8, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon approved quarantine-free travel from 39 ‘green’ rated countries, including Germany, Austria, Norway and Malta.

It further included most of the 20 countries on the ‘amber’ list, where a prevalence of coronavirus is below or not “significantly higher” than Scotland, including France, Greece, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland.

However, at the time she said she could not “in good conscience” approve air bridges with Spain due to higher rates of Covid-19.

Other countries like Serbia and Portugal still remain off the list.