Urgent decisions needed on air bridges, travel agents say

The Scottish Government must act to avoid damage to the aviation sector, a trade body has said.

The Scottish Government must make urgent decisions about air bridges to avoid damage to the aviation industry, the trade body for travel agents says.

The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) said Scots could travel south of the border to fly from Newcastle or Manchester to go on holiday.

A decision on the list of countries which will have reduced travel restrictions is expected within the next few days.

Nicola Sturgeon has said she wants to “maximise alignment” but criticised the UK’s Government’s “shambolic” decision-making.

Joanne Dooey, president of the SPAA, said: “Scotland’s aviation sector is at serious risk.

“Scotland needs its aviation sector and the Scottish Government needs to act decisively to prevent irreversible long-term damage to the economy.

“Our aviation sector plays a critical role in connecting Scottish business to the world.

“This is not just about family holidays to Torremolinos being under threat – it’s about a whole sector of the Scottish economy being in immediate jeopardy.”

She added: “It’s hard to understand why the scientific advice is robust enough for the English traveller to be permitted to travel but not for the Scots traveller.

“It appears that a core list of ‘safe’ destinations has remained consistent so it’s hard to understand why these core destinations have not been given the go-ahead on Friday with additional destinations added as future decisions are made.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The UK Government has announced a list of countries it intends to remove from quarantine restrictions, in relation to travel to England.

“Scottish ministers are actively considering the public health impact of these proposals, as well as the data and evidence underpinning them. Once they have done that they will announce any changes in relation to Scotland.

“We hope to conclude our analysis over the next few days and will announce our decisions quickly.”

The spokesman continued: “We will take decisions based on scientific advice to protect communities in Scotland.

“Of course the prospect of cases coming in from elsewhere poses a risk, not just to health but also to our economy.

“It is important to stress that, at any point, changing prevalence of the virus could lead to quarantine requirements on travel from different countries being put in place.”

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