“Death knell” warning for tourism issued to Scottish Government

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A SCOTTISH travel and tourism association has warned that compulsory hotel quarantine would be the “death knell” for the Scottish Travel Industry.

The calls for concern come after the UK Government’s announced that those returning to Britain from “red list” countries will have to stay in quarantine for ten days in government-provided accommodation

Industry members have called for the Scottish Government for further focussed and financial support for the industry.

Travel support protests outside Holyrood - Business News Scotland
(Copyright photo Paul Chappells) Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association outside Holyrood demanding tailored support and strategic plan for saving travel.

On Wednesday the UK Government announced that people coming into the country would have to quarantine for ten days.

Facilities would be provided by the Government, however First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced Scotland may go further with its restrictions.

The First minister said she was “concerned the proposal does not go far enough”.

Further rules are expected to be announced next week if the four nations cannot come to an agreement.

The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA), a professional body for travel agents and the travel sector in Scotland has criticised the decision.

The association has said that it:”Considers that today’s announcements on compulsory hotel quarantine could sound the death knell for the Scottish Travel Industry.”

Alan Glen Alan Glen, past president and council member of the SPAA - Business News Scotland
Alan Glen Alan Glen, past president and council member of the SPAA

Speaking on Wednesday, Alan Glen, past president and council member of the SPAA says, “Public health is, without doubt, the number one priority for everyone in Scotland.

“However, today’s announcement that all visitors from high-risk countries who cannot be refused entry to the country, will, without exception, be required by law to be met at the airport and transported directly to quarantine hotels, could sound the death knell of the Scottish travel industry as we know it today.

“Hotel quarantine, on top of testing, self-isolation, the closure of travel corridors, passenger locator forms etc will completely decimate the Scottish travel industry which is already on its knees. 

“Is it not now too late to be introducing this at this stage of the pandemic, are we not back where we started last year?”

Alan Glen considers that hotel quarantine is the latest in a series of swingeing conditions imposed on the travel sector which has left an entire industry unable to trade.

“Nicola Sturgeon’s commented today that, although the First Minister says she prefers consistent measures across the UK, the Scottish government will consider additional measures.

“Any further move towards blanket hotel quarantine, would bring an end to travelling completely around the world and the destruction of the aviation and travel market.”

“We’re asking the UK and Scottish governments for further focussed and realistic financial support for the whole Scottish travel industry which is being annihilated due to its inability to trade.

“Without further, and immediate, real-time support, the industry is on the verge of collapse. Where is the clear road map for the recovery of travel?

Today a further 1,201 people tested positive for Coronavirus in Scotland while a further 82 people were confirmed to have died.

The Scottish Government has been approached for comment on additional measures possibly be introduced.