The Scottish government has announced its list of countries from which arrivals will not need to quarantine.
The list of 57 countries (as well as the 14 UK overseas territories) has one obvious omission however – Spain.
This exemptions will come into effect on Friday (10 July), at the same time as those being introduced for travel into England and Wales, for people arriving from countries and territories “where the risk of importing Covid-19 is sufficiently low” including Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Malta.
Passengers arriving from the countries will still be required to complete the online passenger locator form prior to travel and to supply contact details, travel details and the address of the final destination where they will be staying.
Travellers arriving into Scotland via an English port or airport, or direct to the country, will still need to quarantine if they have been in a country which is not on the exemption list.
Exempting additional countries, including Spain and Serbia, will be considered at three weekly review points with the next review being 20 July.
The government said data received from the UK government indicates that the prevalence of the virus in Spain is 0.33%, which means 330 people per 100,000 have the virus. In Scotland that figure is 28 people per 100,000.
Scottish Passengers’ Agents Association president Joanne Dooey welcomed the announcement but described the Spain omission as “very disappointing”.
“Spain is such a popular and accessible destination for Scottish travellers, and this is a huge blow to those who are keen to travel and to our members who have clients wanting to book now,” she said.
“The announcement does not just cover mainland Spain but also the Balearic and Canary Islands too with some of Europe’s most popular holiday hot spots such as Majorca and Ibiza and Tenerife.
“The announcement would have been better for the travel industry if a regional approach had been taken to Spain rather than the blanket ban we’re been given.
"However, there is a bigger picture to the exclusion of Spain from the list. The travel industry depends on flight routes. Without a consistent flow of passengers, airlines and travel company may decide that it is not worth them having a flight route to and from Scotland.
“This is the height of the Scottish holiday season and once we lose flight routes, we are looking at significant loss of jobs and serious detriment to the Scottish economy.
“So, this is not just an immediate summer 2020 problem. Airlines and travel companies work well into the future and if there remains confusion about whether/when Spain is open to Scots without the requirement for quarantine, then we’re putting these future flights in jeopardy.”
Dooey also raised the issue of Scottish travellers flying from English airports.
"It’s been stated today that travelling across the border to fly from English airports does not allow Scots to avoid quarantine, but Scottish travellers have always flown from English airports to some destinations,” she said.
“It now seems that travellers who had their holidays and trips booked from an English airport well before lockdown, will have to quarantine for 14 days, but an equivalent English traveller will not have to do this.
"We need consistency if the travel sector is to even consider moving towards recovery. We hope that during the next phase of recovery, the first minister will revisit the omission of Spain and at least permit flights to the highly popular Spanish islands."
Antigua and Barbuda
Saint Eustatius and Saba
St Kitts & Nevis
St Pierre and Miquelon
Trinidad & Tobago
Vatican City State
The fourteen UK overseas territories also on the list of exemptions are: Akrotiri and Dhekelia; Anguilla; Bermuda; British Antarctic Territory; British Indian Ocean Territory; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; Montserrat; Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Ireland is already exempt as part of the Common Travel Area, as are the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.