Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has played down the prospect of a resumption of international travel on or around 17 May, stressing additional time would likely be needed beyond the date mid-May date set by the UK government "to protect the progress [on Covid] made domestically".
Addressing the nation on Tuesday (20 April), Sturgeon said she understood the pain felt by the country’s aviation and tourism sectors, and stressed her foremost concern was reuniting people with their families, friends and loved ones overseas.
However, the first minister also vowed to "restore normality" to international travel, and pledged to continue working with the UK government and the other devolved nations to "agree a common approach" to the resumption of international travel.
Sturgeon also confirmed Scotland would, like England, add India to its Covid travel "red list" from 4am on Friday (23 April). She also advised anyone wishing to travel to any of Scotland’s island communities to make use of free lateral flow testing before making their journey.
"Please remember, international travel for non-essential purposes is not yet permitted," said Sturgeon. "I know this is really difficult for the aviation and tourism sectors, but most of all, it’s difficult for people who have family overseas.
"When we talk about international travel, there is a tendency – including on my part – to talk about holidays, but for many people, going to other countries involves seeing their families, friends and loved ones."