Sturgeon: I wouldn’t be booking a foreign holiday just now

The First Minister warned Scots planning holidays that they cannot assume measures will not change.

Nicola Sturgeon has warned she wouldn’t personally book an overseas holiday at present amid “a worrying resurgence of Covid cases” in Europe.

She said quarantine measures could be reimposed on countries at short notice if coronavirus cases spike.

It comes after 14-day quarantine for holidaymakers returning from Spain was reinstated at the weekend just days after the policy had been lifted.

The list of countries with which Scotland has so-called “air bridges” with – which means quarantine-free travel is allowed – is under continual review.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 briefing on Tuesday, the First Minister said she is “increasingly concerned” about new outbreaks in some European countries including Spain.

She told Scots planning foreign holidays that they cannot assume quarantine rules will stay the same in the run-up to or during their trips.

The First Minister was echoing earlier comments from Prime Minister Boris Johnson who said the UK had to stay “vigilant” against the threat of a second wave of Covid-19.

Speaking in Nottingham on Tuesday, the PM said there is evidence the virus is starting “to bubble up again” in other European countries.

“Clearly we now face, I’m afraid, the threat of a second wave in other parts of Europe and we just have to be vigilant and we have to be very mindful,” Johnson said.

Sturgeon said that globally, the coronavirus pandemic is “still accelerating” even while Scotland reported no deaths of people with the virus for the 12th day in a row.

There are four new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Scotland, which constitute 0.1% of those tested in the last 24-hour period.

A total of 264 Covid patients are in hospital, six fewer than Monday, with just two being treated in intensive care.

The FM said that as the virus continues to be suppressed in Scotland, care should be taken to avoid importing cases from abroad.

She said: “I remain highly concerned, possibly increasingly concerned again, about the Covid risk.

“We are currently seeing a worrying resurgence of Covid cases, not just in far away parts of the world, but also in several countries across Europe right now.”

Parts of Belgium and Spain, along with Germany and France, have seen recent outbreaks of coronavirus, Sturgeon said.

She warned those planning overseas holidays to be aware that quarantine regulations could be reimposed while they are away – and that the countries they visit could also impose their own rules.

The First Minister added: “You cannot assume the rules applying to your destination will stay the same when you are there or be the same when you travel home.

“My advice to you remains to be very cautious about non-essential foreign travel at this time.”

She said she would not personally want to book a foreign holiday at the moment, and suggested instead going for a “staycation” in Scotland would be safer and also benefit the country’s tourism industry.

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